At the end of last season the women’s Field Hockey team fell to the University of Maine-Farmington 2-0 in the NAC Semifinal round at Spartan Stadium. But with that loss still fresh in the back of their minds, coach Tammy Landon and the 11 returning players are determined for a different outcome.The Spartans opened their season on Sept. 1 at Skidmore College where they fell 8-1. But Landon believes that facing these tough non-conference opponents early in the season will only help her team when it comes time for conference play.
“Not only was it so many players’ first game but it was against one of the top teams in NCAA Division III,” said Landon. “We went in hoping to learn from it and I do feel as though we did.”
But they quickly bounced back by defeating University of New England 7-4 at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 4. The Spartans out-shot their opponents 20-8 in the opening 35 minutes of play.
Castleton once again capitalized on its success on Wednesday, Sept. 8 after defeating Plymouth State University. Senior Sarah Flore scored with thirty seconds remaining in regulation to boost Castleton to a 5-4 win over the Panthers. Castleton out-shot Plymouth 25-14, and held a 15-8 edge in penalty corners.
These two non-conference wins at home were major accomplishments for Castleton considering all the new young blood for the Spartans.
Landon knew she was going to have to bring in a large recruiting class this season because of the loss of many seniors in the past two seasons. In addition to the returning players, Landon has brought in a talented recruiting class consisting of 13 freshmen that, according to Landon, will make quite an impact to the team.
“I have been very pleasantly surprised by the overall talent of the 13 new players that have joined us this year,” she said.
Flore agrees with Landon and expects that the team will have a winning season this year despite having such a young squad.
“It’s really exciting to play with this young talent who have blended really well with our upperclassmen,” said Flore. “It’s so exciting to see the freshmen being able to step out on the field and compete in such a higher level of competition.”
Flore said that coming into the season the upperclassmen knew that there would be a lot of fresh faces and they would have to really work on getting used to one another’s playing styles.
“We had to learn to become comfortable with everyone on the field,” she said.
Overall Landon is very eager about the remainder of the season.
“The combination of our returning players and the new talent are really coming together,” said Landon. “We are trying to work everyone in, get used to playing together, and get experience. So far a I am very excited about how our team is coming along.