Field Hockey Fights to Stay in the Game

Dedication and countless hours spent for just one passion

A new goalie and a new offensive core; field hockey coach Elizabeth Todd looks to make the most out of what is left of her season. Just past the halfway point of the season, field hockey isn’t totally satisfied with its record. As players approach the final stretch of the season, they look to make a late run at the post season.

Senior Katie MacMahon, a three year varsity player, anchors the team’s defensive efforts.

“Our offense isn’t as dominant as it has been in past years,” said MacMahon. “It’s forced us to move people around and try new things to get things to click.”

The Cougar’s had been outscored 15-12 as of September 26. Although the deficit is close, the ladies have been shutout in six out of 12 games, four of which were one goal games.

“We’re still very close and our communication is constantly improving,” continued MacMahon. “We just need to focus on fixing the little things like getting the ball up to the offense more quickly.”

Senior Abby Schefer also felt the offense needed work.

“Recently we’ve been doing more shooting drills at practice,” said Schefer. “It gets stressful in high intensity game situations, so we’ve been working on covering every position in the circle and maintaining possession to get the shot off.”

Senior Mary O’Toole, in her third season on varsity, has been a light in the team’s relatively dismal offense. The VCU lacrosse commit’s field hockey skills are often overshadowed by her successful lacrosse career. She recently put up a hat trick (three goals) against Loudoun Valley in the team’s 4-0 shutout win.

“Some of the girls have really stepped up this season,” said O’Toole. “Katie MacMahon is always there to keep team spirits up and sometimes that’s really what we need. Getting down on ourselves is something that we just don’t need to do.”

MacMahon had similar thoughts on O’Toole.

“Mary really acts as a leader on the field. She makes sure that we’re communicating and always makes sure to encourage us; not only after wins, but losses as well.”

“Sarina Harlow stepped in as goalie for the first time this year and has been remarkable in that role,” said Coach Todd. “On the field, Samantha Muma and Amanda Deliee both made the jump to varsity this season and have been stand outs in the midfield. Mary O’Toole has lit up the scoreboard while Caitlyn Maloney and Anna Lee have set the tempo in the center. Our captains, Katie MacMahon and Julia Robertson are both strong, positive leaders that keep us focused on what needs to be done.”

Todd seemed to identify the lack of offense as a major issue in the team’s sub .500 record saying, “Our defense can hold a lot of pressure, we just need to get the points on the board. Lately we’ve been positioning on the field to provide support on the transition and covering the holes in the attacking circle. We need to get better at taking advantage of fast breaks and seeing opportunities as they arise.”

The Lady Cougars look to finish out their season strong with games against Fauquier, Liberty, and Culpeper.