By KRYSTA GUINEY-OLSEN
The University of Mary Washington field hockey team has started this season with a head turning four-game winning streak, becoming nationally ranked in the process (12th in the country).
New Head Coach Lindsey Elliot has come to UMW from conference rival Salisbury University, and has her team playing extremely well to start the year. With most of the defense graduated there is a different feel on the field, but the team hasn’t struggled with the new line-up.
After beating Lynchburg University and Lebanon Valley College at the beginning of the month, the Eagles had a tough pair of games this past weekend as they took on Washington & Lee University on Friday and Rhodes College on Sunday.
The Eagles game against Washington & Lee didn’t start well, as the Generals got on the scoreboard first to take a 1-0 lead. UMW answered back 15 minutes later with a goal off of a penalty corner shot by junior Lisa Charney. Four minutes later, the UMW sidelines celebrated another Charney goal, and by halftime the Eagles had extended their lead to 4-1.
Mary Washington continued to pad their lead in the second half as the defense kept the Generals offense at bay the rest of the contest. The Eagles added three more goals, and every field hockey player saw game action en route to a rather easy 7-1 win.
Charney scored an impressive three goals and junior Florence George landed three assists. Sophomore Brenna Hill scored a her first goal of the season, which was assisted by senior Morgan Jones, who had an impressive game in her own right with one goal and two assists.
In the Eagles’ Sunday battle against Rhodes College, UMW saw a little more resistance, but still left the contest with a 5-2 victory under their belt. However, the three-goal Eagles win did not reflect the intensity of the game itself, as junior Florence George commented that she ran more in that game than she may have in any other during her career.
George and Jones contributed two goals apiece, and sophomore Caitlyn Baker added the other UMW goal. Claire Gianelle performed admirably for the Eagles in goal, as she recorded the most saves in her collegiate career with 11.
Even with such a strong start, the team only plans on getting stronger as the season progresses. After multiple injuries last season, the injured field hockey players have recovered and come out this season playing with something to prove. Their offense is strong and the team believes that they can play on play harder and fine-tune their skills.
“If we play to the best of our ability, we should go extremely far,” George said. “We have good team chemistry, a good team dynamic.”
The field hockey team competed in a road match last night against Roanoke College and defeated the Maroons 7-3. The next game for the Eagles will be their first conference match of the season, as UMW hosts Wesley College at home on at 7 p.m.