Field Hockey Set to Avenge Early Exit from 2014 Postseason
Issue   |   Thu, 09/03/2015 - 23:13
Rob Mattson
After tallying 11 goals and 10 assists last year, forward/midfielder Annika Nygren will serve as captain in her senior season.

The field hockey team enters the year with a preseason ranking of 11th in the nation, and looks to overcome an early exit from the postseason in 2014. The team finished with a solid 12-3 record in 2014 but fell short of expectations, finishing in fourth place in the NESCAC.

Coming away with wins in several close games, the Jeffs went into postseason play with their confidence peaking. However, the team that was so accustomed to winning close games lost a 1-0 nail-biter to Tufts in the early rounds of the NESCAC tournament, taking an unexpected exit from postseason play.

With the 2015 field hockey season fast approaching, the team looks more promising than last year. In each line, there are several returning starters and experienced players, which will give the team the extra push it needs to advance further into the NESCAC and NCAA postseason tournaments.

Offensively, the Jeffs will be led by senior captains Annika Nygren and Katie Paolano, who accounted for 14 goals and 13 assists in 15 games last year.

On the defensive side of the field, senior captain Annie Turnbull will lead the team. Along with standout Turnbull, junior goalkeeper Emily Horowitz looks to improve on her .888 save percentage from the 2014 season. She allowed only nine goals in 15 games played last season. With a year of experience as a starter, Horowitz is poised to become one of the top goalies and performers in the NESCAC.

The team will also rely heavily on leadership on and off the field by captains Nygren, Paolano and Turnbull.

“Without a doubt I think that our senior class will be a key component for our team,” said sophomore midfielder and fullback Caroline Fiore.

Field hockey graduated six seniors last year, which means that there will no doubt be some major adjustments among the lines of the team. But the abundance of skilled and experienced players returning could prepare the Jeffs for a deeper push into the postseason.

Their season will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8 when they travel to Mount Holyoke for a non-conference match-up. Their home opener will be the following Saturday, where they’ll face their first round of NESCAC competition in Bowdoin, the top-ranked team in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association preseason poll.