Waking up for the first day of school must have felt easy for the girls’ field hockey team after their many 6:00 a.m. preseason practices throughout late August. Just like many other fall sports at LM, field hockey devoted hours to preparing for their upcoming season through arduous preseason workouts. Their preseason consisted of two practices everyday: one at the crack of dawn and the other just before the sweltering summer days came to a close.

     Before school officially began, the field hockey team had already spent hours bonding, and even scrimmaged a local school. Captain Sophie Shaffer ’18 elaborated on the cohesiveness of all members of the team, saying, “LM field hockey is one of the greatest sports at LM. The unity of the team can be felt through everyone, and underclassmen can rely on the upperclassmen for help in almost anything.”

      Preparing these talented players for the 2017 season are three knowledgeable and supportive coaches. Head coach Danielle Parker played Division II field hockey at Millersville University, assistant coach Kylie McDevitt played Division III field hockey at Cabrini University, and the JV and assistant coach Callie Fisher played Division III field hockey at the University of Rochester.

     For their first three games of the season, the field hockey team played enthusiastically against Avon Grove, Haverford, and Plymouth Whitemarsh.  While the girls did not walk away with a win, their various fluid and direct plays showed promising signs for the seasons progression. Captain Katie Berg ’18 shared some of the team’s successes from their first few games and added areas in which the girls could improve: “We’ve done really well uniting as a team. However, we need to work on staying intense through all sixty minutes of the game. We have really great plays but we need to stay consistent throughout the whole game.”

      On September 12, the team’s luck changed. LM girls’ field hockey crushed Upper Darby with a 5-0 win. This initial confidence booster carried the girls’ through their game against Strath Haven, which in turn resulted in a 1-0 win. These wins not only boosted the girls’ confidence but also showed them that their continuous effort and team bonding was paying off.

      A dedicated group of seniors have stepped up to help each player improve upon their deficiencies that the coaches have observed throughout the first few games. Shaffer shared some insight regarding senior leadership and team goals. “The team has a common goal to grow and show the Central League the powerhouse we've become in the last two years. Our coaches put a lot of emphasis on senior leadership saying it can make or break a team.” During their high school years, the seniors’ energy and passion has never wavered. The upperclassmen have and will continue to show their progression as a unit throughout the season.

       Fueled by the drive of the senior leaders, it is clear that the field hockey as team will continue working to improve some of their weaknesses and strengthen their existing talents in order to achieve a successful season.