The Castleton field hockey team has been lighting it up on the field this season. After moving to a new conference and being projected to finish eleventh, they are 10-2 this season, 8-0 in conference play and are currently in first place.
The Spartans are led by senior forward Sarah Wells, who was named Little Eastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sep. 23.
The Spartans broke the program record for most consecutive wins with their ninth in a row on Tuesday Oct. 9 against Fitchburg State.
“It felt like we had been playing really well and together,” first year coach Christine Kemp said.
The Spartans were outshooting their opponents throughout the game but went down 1-0 in the second half. This was the first goal allowed by the Spartans in three games.
“Everyone knew that we had the ability to come back,” Kemp said.
“I think there was definitely added pressure,” senior Sarah Wells said, “but even being down by one goal, we kept our cool.”
With just under five minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore forward Loretta Blakeney scored the goal to even the score.
“We play seven on seven a lot in practice,” Kemp said. “They knew the strategies and they executed it to perfection.”
Sophomore midfielder Gabriella Hunt scored the goal that ended the game. The goal came almost four minutes into the overtime period and it clinched the team’s ninth straight victory.
“That goal was just beautiful,” Kemp said, “very smart play.”
Wells agreed it was a team effort.
“I had so much pride on Tuesday and I couldn’t be more proud of the girls,” said Wells.
Wells has been a huge part of the team’s winning streak. This season she has had five assists and scored fifteen goals, earning her thirty-one points. The week in which she was named Little East Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Wells had two goals, three assists and the team went 2-0.
“When I first found out, I wasn’t expecting it and was happy to put Castleton’s name out there. Everything we do is a team effort, so getting recognized is really a team recognition.” Wells said.
Coach Kemp said that it was awesome to receive the recognition.
“There are so many teams in our conference. So, to be selected I think is huge and really telling of how hard the girls are working.” Kemp said.
“What feels different about this year is the coaching staff,” Wells said. “Both our head coach and the graduate assistant coach have changed the dynamic of the team and hold us to high standards.”
Kemp was candid about her success as head coach for the Spartans.
“I think my style of coaching was definitely a change for them. I brought in a bit more strategy that they bought into right away. It’s clearly been a togetherness that has made this work.” Kemp said.
The Spartans continued their impressive winning streak on Saturday Oct. 13 with a 3-2 victory over the Lancers of Worcester State University.
That win extends the winning streak to 10 straight games. They will look to extend that streak to 11 games on Wednesday Oct. 17 when they travel to take on Westfield State in a conference matchup.