Just three games into the season, the Castleton Field Hockey team is already half way to matching their win total from the 2015 season.
After a slim 2-1 loss to Union in their first game, the Spartans responded with an 8-5 win over Morrisville, and a convincing 10-1 win over Daniel Webster.
“We realized last year we had a long way to go, and so we worked really hard starting in spring ball. Our whole drive was to stay focused and work on our skills,” said senior Cassidy Auger. “Scoring goals was a struggle for us last year. We’re definitely getting better at that.”
And score goals they have, notching a total of 19 in the first three games.
Last season, the team recorded 30 goals total.
Sophomore Sarah Wells and junior Emily Lowell have each recorded four goals on the season. Senior Haley Spittle has three, to go along with a team-leading four assists, and freshmen Mia Sanborn and Cydney Jeffrey each have two goals.
“We’re half and half on returners and freshman, but I think the returners that did come back are doing really, really well and the freshman have really stepped up to fill the spots that needed to be filled,” said junior Stephanie Van Fleet.
With a freshman class of eleven, the team looks much different.
“Our freshmen are extremely solid, not only skill but also personality wise. We did a really great job as a whole team, not just me as a recruiter, in deciding which athletes were going to positively impact the team,” said Coach Jessica Kischko.
The women have their eyes on the NAC Championship trophy, which the Castleton field hockey team hasn’t raised since 2013, and have high hopes and goals for the season.
“Obviously our big goal this year is to make playoffs, and that’s the first step toward winning the NAC and going on to win NCAA games,” said Auger.
Senior Haley Spittle expanded on the team’s goals this year.
“It’s going to be important for us to just attack each game individually, and even though our biggest goals are focused around the conference … it’s the non-conference games that are going to prepare us for that. We should learn from the tougher, non-conference games leading up to our in-conference schedule,” Spittle said.
The Spartans will face another one of the non-conference teams Spittle speaks of on Tuesday, September 13th, when Plymouth State travels to Spartan Stadium for a 4 o’clock match-up.
“I’m really excited about the direction that our team is going. Our team’s culture has made a big change in the past three years and I’m excited to be a part of the program and really see it come to fruition this season,” Kischko said.