By Sam Scanlon ’19
This past weekend, the Providence College Field Hockey season came to an end in Lynchburg, Virginia as the Friars fell to Liberty University 0-4 in the Big East Semi-Finals. This marked the second straight 0-4 loss to Liberty, as the first came on Oct. 26 to wrap up the regular season.
Despite the disappointing defeat, the Friars still had a tremendously successful season. The 11-8 Friars finished their season as the third ranked team in the Big East, earning them their 19th Big East Tournament berth in program history.
Starting off the season with an 0-3 record on their West coast trip to the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, Davis, and the University of the Pacific, the Friars needed a strong second half to have a shot at the tournament.
The Friars’ leading scorer, Allyson Parker ’20 touched on their slow start by saying, “We started the season on the road with three games in California. Losing all three of those games was not necessarily the start we wanted.”
However, the Friars battled back by taking victories in 11 out of their final 15 regular season games. “Coming out of that weekend could have gone two ways: we could have accepted a losing season or we could do something to turn it around.” Parker continued, “We decided that we were not going to dwell on those losses and treat each game as a brand new one.” That mentality certainly proved to be successful after the Friars quickly got their season back on track.
As the Friars finished the season with a 4-3 conference record, their Big East berth was well deserved as three of those victories were settled in overtime. The most dramatic victory came on Oct. 19 in Washington, D.C. against Georgetown University. After 90 minutes of regulation and two scoreless overtimes, a shootout was necessary to decide a victor. Maddie Babineau ’21, Amanda Collins ’22, and Mary O’Reilly ’20, who scored the Friars’ lone goal in regulation, each converted on their shootout attempts. Goalkeeper Lydia Rice ’19 denied all three Georgetown attempts and lifted the Friars to a 2-1 shootout victory. This essential win was the final of the Friars’ season, which clinched them a Big East Tournament appearance.
Parker was positive in her overall outlook on this past season as she added, “The biggest positive takeaway from the season would have to be how strongly each team member embodied our culture.” The Friars adapted a culture where leadership and cohesion were the main focal points. Parker explained, “at the beginning of preseason we took part in a military style training called ‘The Program’ with the mission being to create better leaders and more cohesive teams. [We] took the lessons [we] learned and applied them throughout the rest of the season.”
Parker will be returning next season and continuing her large role on offense, and she is looking forward to another successful season. She concluded, “I have a good feeling about next season. The spring is crucial for us in preparing for next season and I feel confident that our team is focused and determined heading into it.”
Look for Parker and the Friars to have another successful season next fall where they will aim to reach the Big East Tournament yet again and return to Friartown with the trophy.