James McClendon, Advertising Manager
The season is underway for Utica College field hockey. The Pioneers are off to a hot start after finishing last season 5-13.
One of Utica’s biggest advantages heading into the season is the leadership from its returning players. Senior goalkeeper Samantha Whitehouse is expecting big things from herself and her teammates.
“To describe our team’s identity this early in the season is difficult,” Whitehouse said. “I’d say that we are the team that will surprise and make a statement this season.”
The Pioneers spent the offseason fine-tuning their individual skills. However, the real results began when the team came together.
“We worked on making sure we communicated throughout the lineup and staying in position on free hits so we can execute from front to back,” sophomore Fiona Shea said. “Our team worked hard to get into triangle and box patterns for the circle to be more aggressive when our forwards attack.”
Freshman Sydney Scaccia has already experienced what this team is about.
“I would describe the team as a machine,” Scaccia said. “We all come together and work as a unit which is the biggest threat to other teams. When we’re on and we make our connections, we’re dangerous.”
Many of the Pioneers believe they are more than just a team.
“We all have special, unique and quirky personalities that bring us together in many different ways,” Shea said. “We are stronger than ever and we play for each other. I can happily say these girls are family.”
The Pioneers are back in action this weekend as they open up Empire 8 play against Nazareth College on Saturday at home. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm.