By Eileen Flynn ’20
As the field hockey season is finally underway, it is common to focus on the seniors of the team. Will they be able to step out of their underclassmen shoes and fill the leadership positions?
Not only are they the players the rest of the team looks up to, they also have to play knowing this will be their last season at Providence College.
In particular, Kara Sanford ’20 is working hard to make this season the best one yet.
“This year I believe we have a really strong team,” said Sanford. “From the very start of preseason the girls were working hard and treating every practice like it were a game. I think the reason we’ve been so successful thus far is because everyone is on the same page and we’re all doing whatever we can to be better than we were the day before.”
With a tough schedule ahead of them, the team knew they had to put in work during the preseason. Head Coach Diane Madl, who has 17 years of experience coaching the Providence College Field Hockey Team, helped train her team in the months before the start of the school year.
The first game of the season was hosted by PC and was a matchup between the Friars and the Eagles of Boston College. Although PC struck first, Boston College tied the game in the second quarter. After a competitive first half, the Eagles took the lead with a quick goal. The Friars had several chances, but the game ended as a 2-1 victory for the Eagles.
With the first game under their belt, PC was ready to take on their next opponent in Maine. 24th-ranked Maine made the Friars work for their first win of the season in an overtime 5-4 victory. This win gave the Friars an energy boost that would last all the way until the next weekend, where they faced two fellow Rhode Island rivals, Brown University and Bryant University.
Goalie Lydia Rice ‘19GS picked up two shutout wins on the weekend as the Friars beat Bryant 2-0. Sanford played an important role during the game versus Brown, scoring two back-to-back goals for the Friars in less than three minutes to give PC the 3-0 win.
Sanford admitted, “It felt great to score those two goals.” She was quick to recognize the work her teammates put in to help make it happen.
“I think those two goals got us all fired up to the point where we were ready to dominate the rest of the game, even more than we were before.” Sanford also acknowledged her team’s impressive performance and said she hopes they will carry it into the upcoming games as well.
Despite the long road ahead of them, the Friars have given us a sneak peek into a successful season. Sanford is already looking forward to facing teams they have lost to in past years, including the University of Connecticut and Liberty University. Their next home game will be on Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. against Old Dominion University.