If you happen to be by the athletic fields on a Tuesday morning, you will most likely catch a glimpse of Swarthmore’s Field Hockey team starting their day off with a 6 a.m. practice. It is this type of commitment that has contributed to their recent and unprecedented success. Having won six out of their last 10 games, Field Hockey has already won more games this season than in any other since 2012. The Garnet’s success can also be attributed to their new coach, Hannah Allison, who brings a refreshing new coaching style and a positive outlook for the team’s 2017 season.
Ellory Laning ’18 shared her thoughts on her new coach and impact she has already had, and will continue to have, on the program.
“I think that we’ve always seen ourselves as a strong and talented team, but Coach Allison has dedicated a lot of practice time to helping us recognize where we break down and what has been preventing us from applying our strengths in games, which has greatly improved our play and helped us to connect and function as a united team,” she said.
Under Allison’s coaching, the Garnet have already won more Conference games this season than they have in the last four seasons. This newfound success must be attributed both to Allison’s coaching as well as her team’s ability to adapt and thrive under her new coaching style. This new coaching style focuses on the positives, creating a different team dynamic on the field. Instead of yelling when her athletes make mistakes, Allison tries to make each mistake a learning experience.
“I look forward to practices a lot more this season because I feel like I learn so much from them, as well as games. I think we just feel more confident playing our opponents this year knowing that we have a shot at winning,” said Zelda Bank ’19.
The team have connected both on and off the field and all the players have really stepped up, especially the five first-years. Chelsea Semper ’21, who already feels like she has grown as a player under the guidance of Coach Allison, thinks that the team can became a competing force in the Centennial Conference.
“I’m really excited to see the program continue to grow this season and gain more respect in our conference. I’m thrilled to be a part of the group that is positively impacting the Swat Field Hockey program and helping turn it into a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly,” she said.
Having always been supportive and communicative, the Field Hockey team is making major headway in their level of confidence and winning mentality that will help them become a team to be reckoned with. Lizzy Stant ’19 gave some insight on a Centennial rival that she really wants to beat this year.
“John Hopkins! We had a tight game against them last year, and with our improvements over the past year we’d all love to bring them an even better game this year! We want to continue to improve in the conference and make other teams respect us and fear us! I believe in our ability to be able to do that this year more than ever before,” she said.
Field Hockey seems poised this year for their strongest season since 2012. With a new coach and new outlook on both practices and games, the team is set to grow and could be a solid contender in the Centennial Conference. While their much-anticipated game against John Hopkins is an away game on Oct. 14, Field Hockey faces Oneonta on Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. on Clothier Field.