After four years of ups and downs, field hockey players Liz Hurley, Kayla Sokol, Jenn Califano and Meghan McHugh were recognized for all of their efforts and hard play this past Saturday when the team celebrated their Senior Day.
“We have all gone through the struggle of losses and the excitement of big wins, but the best part is doing it all together,” explained Califano. “Being on this team has taught me many things. [It’s taught me] that you have to give up some things to accomplish a [bigger] goal.”
On Saturday the team squared off against Wellesley College, with the game ending 2-1 in Wellesley’s favor.
The two teams played equally all game, but what set Wellesley over the edge was when forward Emily Lewis connected on a penalty stroke to take the lead for the Blue.
Even though Saturday did not go over well for the seniors on their day, their past experiences have taught them to deal with adversity and pull through.
Their freshman year, they went 12-9, beat Wellesley 3-2 in OT to win the NEWMAC Tournament Semifinals, but unfortunately lost to MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament Championship game.
During their sophomore year, the dynamics of the team changed a bit, which led to an overall 9-11 season and a loss to Babson in the NEWMAC Tournament Semifinals.
Similar to their sophomore year, last year the team went 5-14 and lost to MIT in the NEWMAC Tournament Semifinals.
“We’ve definitely had some ups and downs, but everything has been a learning experience,” Hurley said.
So far this season has been a bit of a toss-up. The team has won some big games, but also let others slip away.
“The season has been good overall,” Sokol said. “There have been some games that came down to the last few minutes or overtime that we should have won but did not end in our favor.”
While their season hasn’t been perfect, they have played well when it mattered. In their last four games, the team has gone 3-1, which has helped lead them to a playoff berth.
Wednesday night, the No. 4 Pride fought and won the NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinals against fifth-seeded Clark, 5-1.
The team dominated the entire game, having an advantage in shots 22 to seven. Sokol and McHugh each tallied a goal.
“You should expect the Springfield College field hockey team to be on their ‘A’ game in the postseason,” Sokol said enthusiastically. “Our goal is a NEWMAC Championship, and nothing is going to stop us.”
Even though this hasn’t been their best season statistically, all the seniors agreed that this season has brought great camaraderie and friendship amongst the team.
“This season has been the best of my four years here,” explained McHugh. “Our team is like a family. When we play, we aren’t just playing for Springfield College and ourselves, we are [also] playing for our teammates.”
While the team couldn’t pull through with a win for the seniors on Senior Day, the team is determined to make up for it in the playoffs.
The Pride will try to claim a NEWMAC Tournament Semifinal victory this Saturday when they try to knock off top-seeded Babson at noon in Babson Park.