The Penn field hockey team entered the 2010 season with a new coach, a new roster and three goals for the new season.
But it seems the third time wasn’t a charm, since one of the team’s goals — to emerge victorious in its first three games — fell to the wayside when the Quakers dropped their opening game to Rider, 8-3.
“We won’t really talk about this game too much. We’ll show some game clips about some of the specific things that need to be addressed,” new coach Colleen Quinn Fink said. “But after that film, we have to move forward and just start thinking about our next opponent and just start playing better Penn field hockey.”
Although new to the program, Fink is no stranger to the world of Philadelphia-area field hockey. As a St. Joseph’s alumna and daughter of St. Joseph’s track and field coach, Kevin Quinn, she has four years of head coaching experience under her belt at nearby Haverford College.
In her first year with the Quakers, Fink has already implemented some changes including fast-paced and game-like preseason practices.
“[We have] a lot more direction, we have a better game plan. We did a lot of scouting of the other team,” newly appointed senior co-captain Laurel McGarvie said.
The second — and still attainable — goal the Quakers set for themselves was to “win in regulation or be prepared enough [to get] a win in overtime”.
Last season, the team dropped four games in overtime, three of which were to Ivy League opponents. For the Quakers, turning these losses into wins comes down to intensity.
“I’m not going to be out there on the field with them, nor is my coaching staff. So it’s hard for that intensity to come from me once that whistle blows at the start of the game,” Fink said.
“It’s time to rise up and someone’s either going to play with some intensity and/or bring that level of heart that we’re looking for to the field.”
Although Princeton has historically sat atop the League in the past, the Quakers’ final goal is to make a run for the conference title.
“And I think there are some really good [Ivy] programs out there that are well coached and have disciplined play,” Fink said.
To top it all off, Fink has had to make changes to accommodate the loss of six seniors including center midfield Katie Rose and scoring powerhouse, Kelsey Tahan, who co-led the team with 15 points last season.
Senior co-captain Annie Matthews has gone above and beyond in order to compensate for these losses. After spending her entire collegiate career on the forward line, the St. Louis native will move back to defense for the Quakers.
“You hate to talk about strengths in terms of individual athletes, but I think Annie Matthews does have the core fundamentals down,” Fink said. “I think that she is definitely one of our strengths in terms of individual play.”
At the other end of the spectrum, the freshman class, recruited by former assistant coach Megan McGuin, is expected to contribute a fair amount this season in both the starting lineup and subbing in for their teammates.
“In the past, we haven’t really had freshman with a lot of playing time, so it’s really great that they can start freshman year,” McGarvie said. “It will help build our program.”
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