Field hockey yet to see a win

Young team looking to rebuild

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Women's field hockey

Jonas Hrebeniuk

THIS MAKES CROQUET SEEM LIKE A DECAF LATTÉ. The field hockey team consists of young, upstart athletes that plan on guiding the team into the province's elite.

Despite a tough field hockey schedule early on, captain Petra Kovacs is positive that the team’s chemistry will help them bounce back in the upcoming games.

“[The] core of our team works very well together,” she said. “We are playing awesome together all around the field ... but once we get it up the field we are having a real problem putting it in the back of the net.”

This was clear when the ’Stangs’ regular season began this past weekend as the women faced Guelph, Waterloo and York at Laurier, in Waterloo.

The team lost its first game 3-0 against Guelph, but Western co-captain and sweeper Lakae Dill was awarded player of the game. Although the team is young, Dill is certain in the end this will be a team strength.

“We have a lot of strong new rookies,” she said. “We are building to be a relatively strong team.”

The squad’s second game showed improvement, as goalie Alicya Allen got a shutout and kept Waterloo off the board. The game ended in a scoreless tie. The third game ended 1-0 in York’s favour.

After some practice and reflection, head coach Brenyn Hodge is not concerned.

“We are just making adjustments based on some things we need to improve from the past few games,” she said. “We started off with a tough schedule the first weekend [and] I definitely think we can bounce back.

“We just need to finish and pick up points early on.”

The key to the team’s success is going to come from confidence, according to Dill.

“[We need to] come on strong and hard, keep our head up, and not get intimidated or feel defeated when we do lose,” she said. “Just keep our head in the game and stay focused on what we need to do.”

Once the girls are able to get the ball in the net, Kovacs is certain the Ontario University Athletics championship is in reach.

“Last year we were one point away from OUAs, which is very disappointing,” she said. “We have a very strong team this year so I think OUAs is strongly within our reach.”

“[Canadian Interuniversity Sport] is hosted in Ontario this year so three teams can go and I have total confidence our team can make it [to the CIS].”

In the mean time, hard work and concentration will add to the team’s already strong goaltending and passing skills.

“We really need to maintain our mental toughness,” Kovacs said. “We get it in our head that we can’t beat them [and] we need to have confidence in ourselves and believe in ourselves.”

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