Fall athletes have a little less than a month left in regular season play. Having returned to Swarthmore in the middle of August, these athletes have put plenty of time and hard work into their respective sports. Swarthmore’s field hockey team is full of these fall athletes who hope to improve upon their record from last season. The field hockey team started off the season strong, winning their home opener against Widener and began conference play with a 3-2 record. They proceeded to drop their first two conference games to Dickinson and Ursinus but went on to beat McDaniel 3-2 in an intense game that went into overtime. Their most recent conference game was against Franklin and Marshall and resulted in a 2-0 loss for Swat.
While their current record is very similar to their record at this time last year, the team’s statistics have improved. Last year, they averaged 1.53 goals per game,but this year the figure has risen to 1.7. While they have seven games left to play before their regular season ends, these statistical improvements indicate they may be able to extend their season a bit longer, with a playoff appearance possible .
Senior Riya Garg ’19 shared insight into how the field hockey program has changed from her freshman year to her senior year: “Over the last three years, our program has gotten better at adapting to our opponents. We try to not only know the game, but to also know the other teams and their tendencies.”
Garg and the other three seniors on the field hockey team have not only seen the program change and adapt over the course of their four years, but they have also been major contributors to the improvements in the program. The team has also improved under the guidance of second year coach Hannah Allison. When the seniors were first-years, the team went 0-9 in conference and 4-13 overall. With seven games remaining, the team boasts a higher win total this year than in their entire 2015 season.
Garg shared her team’s goal for the season: “Our current team goal is to place higher in our conference than we achieved last year. We have some of our tougher games behind us, so the rest of this season will be very telling for our placement.”
Field hockey’s seniors are not the only grade contributing to the team’s current .500 record — one of their freshmen, Marion Carr, recently scored three goals in a game against Neumann, recording field hockey’s first hat trick of the season. She also leads the team in goals this season with five.
When asked about her adjustment to collegiate level field hockey Carr responded: “The college game is faster, more physical, and comes with higher expectations so it’s definitely been a challenging adjustment. Having teammates who are helpful, supportive, and encouraging has really helped with the transition.”
Swarthmore’s field hockey team has built a stronger and better program thanks to the hard work of their dedicated athletes. With only seven games left in the 2018 season, the team looks to improve their record and finish the season strong with each game they play. Their next home game, at Clothier Field, is October 13th against Johns Hopkins at 12 p.m.