By Sophie Afdhal II Sports Editor
It seems the stunning success of the F&M women’s field hockey team this year has not come to end, even with the close of their season.
This fall the women made it to the Centennial Conference Championship and then received a bid and competed in the NCAA tournament, securing the first tournament win since 2011.
Last week, the NCAA conference announced that F&M was the statistical champion for shutouts per game. In 57 percent of their contests, the Lady Dips held their opponents unable to score and achieved the best shutout average in the nation. This average broke a record as they tallied 12 in 21 games as shutouts.
This would not be possible without the dedicated play of goalkeeper Allie Morey ’15, who was delighted by the news of the award.
“This accomplishment isn’t just about one person,” said Morey, “Of course it reflects the hard work of the defense but also of the entire team. We were relentless this season and always played our hardest, leaving it all on the field.”
Morey’s credit of the whole team’s performance is due in part to the team camaraderie and her positive experience. “This fall was the greatest season I’ve ever had and it wasn’t because of the win or shutouts, but because of my teammates and coaches,” said Morey. “The team was energetic, cohesive, and hardworking. It’s sad to think that I’ll never play another game with these women but no one can take away the bonds and friendships we have.”
The importance of player and team relationships tends to be an important hallmark in campus athletics and the field hockey team appears to be no exception. Leadership of coaches helps to cultivate this dynamic and because of Coach Mariano, Morey remains confident in the future of the team and their performance.
“Moving forward, I think the team will continue to do well and thrive under the guidance of Coaches Mariano, Hamilton, and Howard,” said Morey. “They know the game so well and they know how to push and inspire their players. I am extremely excited to watch the current first year goalie, Ashley, play. She is an amazing teammate, friend, and woman and I know she’ll do very well next year.”
The team has a great deal of momentum to keep them going into next year as they reflect on one of their most successful seasons in history. This was their sixth winning season in a row and their third consecutive Centennial Conference Championship game. The women also captured their first NCAA tournament win since 2011 this year.
While Morey anticipates strong success for the future of the team, the college should take note of the impressive series of accolades that the field hockey team has already garnered. Field hockey has established themselves as one of the college’s strongest athletic programs and we eagerly wait to see where next fall’s season takes them.
Senior Sophie Afdhal is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.