F&M field hockey continues multi-game undefeated streak

By Nicole Strauss, Contributing Writer ||

The Diplomats have won all seven of their games this season, remaining undefeated and becoming a serious threat to the other teams in the conference. With a total of 4.4 goals and 22 shots per game, the Diplomats clearly display they are a strong team that should not be reckoned with.

At the beginning of the season, the Diplomats ranked number 8 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). In the season opener against the Elizabethtown College Blue Jays, the Diplomats won 1-
0 and had a very strong offense all throughout the second half of the game.

Head coach Melissa Mariano is confident about this year’s
prospects.

“We are off to a good start. We have a great group of players both personality wise and talent,” Mariano said.

During their first conference game against the Alveria University Crusaders, the Dips came in strong and dominated for the majority of the game. Good teamwork and passes allowed them to score 7 times against the Crusaders, putting them at a total standing of 2 -0.

The third game of the season, against the University of Mary Washington Eagles, was an exciting game to watch, as the Diplomats made an astonishing comeback from behind. In the second half of the game, they scored 4 goals, allowing them to come off of the field with yet another W. The Mary Washington game stuck out to Mariano.

“The Mary Washington game; it was 95 degrees outside and we were down by 2 goals and then ended up coming back to win 4-3. They were a tough game to play on the road and we pulled through,” Mariano said.

The team played the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Seahawks on Sept. 7, and won the match 5-0. Next, the team played the Eastern University Eagles on Sept. 13, and won 5-0. The team also won their next two games 10-0, against Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College. Mariano offered a few thoughts on the season.

“Adaption to opponents is important. Every team is very different. Finding what works against each team and playing our best game against each of the teams we have played is important and sometimes a challenge. This season has also started with 5 of 6 road games, which is always a tough start. It is good to come out with victories even though battling many surfaces,” Mariano said.

The Diplomats’ streak not only is impressive in itself, but also allowed the Diplomats to move into the number 5 spot in the NFHCA. They are the top Centennial Conference school to make the list and are not showing any signs of backing down.

“The senior class is a great group of girls. There are 6 seniors who all work hard, are fun, very committed, and all are excellent leaders to the underclassmen. They have done a lot to build the program here,” Mariano said.

The Diplomats are ranked first in the Centennial Conference as of now. It should be an exciting rest of the season filled with many more victories.

“The goal is always to continue to find success and continue to compete at a high level every single game every minute of every game. Another goal is to always compete for the Conference championship, so hopefully that will end up happening. Right now, we are just taking one game at a time,” Mariano said.

Senior Nicole Strauss is a contributing writer. Her email is nstrauss@fandm.edu. 

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