Fielding a Perennial Hockey Powerhouse

By William Masselli ~ Editor in Chief

Photo of University of Lynchburg’s field hockey Team. Photo retrieved from https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/fh/2021-22/releases/20210714h9ac53 on Aug.17,2021. 

The University of Lynchburg women’s field hockey team enters the 2021 season with one goal, to repeat as ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) regular season and conference tournament champions. 

Kaylie Truitt, a senior midfielder, said, “The ODAC championship last year was not only a great accomplishment for the team because it added another title to Lynchburg athletics for the year, but also it proved that even through the toughest and most unpredictable times, we could come together and persevere. The focus this year is definitely working to add another conference championship to our record. Since we missed out on the NCAA tournament last year, we are even more determined to get there this year.” 

Emily Yanes, a junior defender, believes her team’s games against Washington and Lee will determine whether or not her team wins the ODAC and earns an NCAA tournament bid. 

“I look forward to beating Washington and Lee this year the most because they are always a very strong competitor which makes for a great game. In competitive games, our team always works together and plays to the best of its abilities. I believe that gaining a win against a great team like Washington and Lee will give us the confidence we need to excel in the ODAC tournament and in the postseason,” said Yanes. 

Photo of University of Lynchburg’s field hockey team. Photo retrieved from centralvasports.com on Aug. 17 ,2021.

Yanes does not feel worried about the new mask mandate,“My response to the new mask mandate would be that no matter what obstacle is thrown at us we can handle it. With our season last year being moved to the spring and the NCAA tournament being cancelled, we did our best with what we were given and remained positive. In situations like these that are out of our control, all we can do is our best and that is what we will continue to do this season.” said Yanes.

Truitt also noted the importance of her team’s hard work over summer break.

 “Over summer, it is crucial that we come back as fit as possible. As a team, we hold each other accountable by sharing workout activities through apps and motivating each other to workout. As coach Smith always says, it’s all about getting 1% better everyday,” said Truitt. 

Photo of  Emma Strouse from University of Lynchburg. Photo retrieved from ncaa.com on Aug. 17, 2021. 

Truitt added, “We definitely lost a good amount of talent in last year’s senior class, but we did have some of those seniors stay, which is great! However, I praise our team on being able to quickly adjust and have people step up and become more present on the team and the field. We lose people every year, and we always manage to work with what we have and the new talent coming in to get us right back to the ODAC championship. I think we are more ready than ever for a normal season and another chance at a title.” 

Lynchburg hockey saw several members graduate last spring and this had an impact on current team members. 

“We had a tremendous senior class graduate and they made for a great starting line up. Coming into this season with that in mind, over the summer, I focused on getting better everyday in order to have the ability to step up for my team this season. We are all going to have to work together this season to be able to build our chemistry with each other. Being a junior this year, I look forward to leading the underclassmen by motivating them and encouraging them to work hard on and off the field in order to be successful as a team,”  said Yanes.

Sydney Metz, a junior forward, reflected on the disappointment of not having an NCAA tournament last year. “I think as a team we were all super bummed when news was released that we would not be having an NCAA tournament. However, this gave us more of a reason to set goals like going undefeated in the conference and winning the conference championship. As far as team improvement to help us reach our goal of having a shot in the tournament, we really need to focus on the little details which can be anything from making sure our basic hits and passes look good to perfecting a new skill. It’s things like this that can make or break a team when it comes down to that final game. The tournament is always very unpredictable when it comes to who might end up making the cut, but some teams I look forward to seeing is Rowan,  a hometown school for me. Also, I look forward to seeing Salisbury as they were a top competitor for us when we were last in the tournament,” said Metz. 

According to University of Lynchburg women’s field hockey Head Coach Enza Steele, her team has two easy games, and the rest of her team’s games are either against conference opponents or outer conference games against perennial NCAA tournament contenders. 

Metz said, “Some words of advice I would give to fellow underclassmen would be to always keep a goal in mind. Set little daily goals along with long term ones. This can be on and off the field and it gives you a sense of accomplishment and confidence when you are able to see the goals through. It’s also okay if you never reach the goal as long as you try your best to get there.” said Metz.

To support the University of Lynchburg women’s field hockey team and attend their games during the pandemic, their tough schedule, and their quest for the NCAA tournament championship, please visit the following link: https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/fh/2021-22/schedule

Key words: field hockey, DIII, Old Dominion Athletic Conference, Fall, Sports, Lynchburg, Virginia, University of Lynchburg , Fall  

Sources

Sydney Metz metzs476@lynchburg.edu

Enza Steele steele@lynchburg.edu

Kaylie Truitt truitt_kb@lynchburg.edu

Emily Yanes yanese886@lynchburg.edu

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