Field Hockey’s Youth Primed for a Breakout Season

Swarthmore Field Hockey looks to capitalize this season on the youth of their team and the return of key impact players. The team welcomed seven first years to the roster and are excited to build on their new talent. 

Last season, Swarthmore Field Hockey scored 26 goals, six of which were netted by forward Marion Carr ’22. Out of the top five point earners in the 2018 season, three of the players return to the team, including Carr ’22, Samie Martin ’21 and Samantha Meacock ’22.

Carr is excited by the prospects of a young team but emphasizes the importance of continued growth throughout the fall. 

“As a very young team, we are hoping to keep improving and developing as a group,” said Carr. “We also want to maintain a positive attitude and outlook.”

Coach Hannah Harris echoed Carr’s belief that positivity and a growth mindset will serve the team well in the season to come. 

“I’m most excited to see each of the players grow in their roles and watch them develop as leaders and veterans of the program,” said Harris. “We have no seniors on the team, which is requiring our underclassmen to step up into an upperclassman role.”

 While having no seniors may appear as a disadvantage, Harris sees an opportunity for a tight knit group to form this season. “Our team is made up of half first years and half returners, and because we are a small squad, they have developed a friendship that feels like family,” said Harris. 

Chelsea Semper ’21 and Martin ’21 have stepped into the leading role of captains and hope to foster a vibrant team culture that will help the team reach its collective goals. 

“I think the most important goal for our team is maintaining our positive team culture and creating an environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and included,” said Semper ’21. 

Semper ’21 recognizes the importance of helping the first years adjust to college field hockey. 

“There is a lot to learn when you adjust to playing in college from high school, so I have really tried to focus on patience and communication in practices and games and giving my younger players individual advice on how they can improve.” said Semper ’21. “I have tried my best to lead by example, whether that be on the field, in the weightroom, or in the classroom, and have been pushed to find my own voice and speak up to the team on occasion.”

First-year Fiona Heaps ’23 has enjoyed becoming part of a close collegiate team. “My favorite part of the team so far is the supportive and fun environment,” said Heaps. It’s this  encouraging environment has helped her in her transition to playing college-level field hockey. 

Besides cultivating a productive team environment, Swarthmore Field Hockey has some serious on-the-field goals. 

“We have several game-oriented goals such as finishing top five in the conference and scoring more than 30 goals this season,” said Semper ’21. 

The team’s 2018 season ended in their best conference finish since 2011, and one of the wins that got them there was the end-of-season thriller versus Haverford. Swarthmore defeated Haverford 3-2 and are ready to face them again. 

“I’m looking forward to some competitive games, especially against Haverford,” Carr ’22 said. 

With preseason completed, the team looks to the future. Swarthmore has played four games so far, and although the Garnet only came out on top once, the contests were close and illustrated the team’s potential and resilience. The team is gearing up for the beginning of conference play, starting with Dickinson on  September 21 at 4:00 p.m. at Clothier Field.

 “We have a lot of raw talent on our team, and it’s slowly coming together as we all learn how to play with one another,” Semper ’21 said. “I’m looking forward to the day we step on the field and it all just clicks, because when that happens, no one will be putting us at the bottom of the rankings anymore.” 

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