Jasmine Cole and Elise Tilton are just freshmen, but they’re playing like they’ve been at this for a while.
The 7-1 Penn field hockey team owes a considerable amount of its early success to Cole and Tilton, as the youngsters have accounted for over half of the Quakers’ 26 goals thus far. Cole leads the team — and is co-leader of the Ivy League — with nine, and Tilton ranks third on the Quakers with five.
While both Cole and Tilton play large offensive roles, they each get the job done in a unique way.
Cole is all about speed and grit, constantly out-motoring and out-working her opponents. In addition to possessing great speed, coach Colleen Fink points out that Cole also “does a lot of dirty work on the ball.”
She also has a clear knack for finding the net. Last year, playing for Montclair Kimberly Academy, Cole set the school’s all-time single-season goals record, netting 33.
“Jasmine is a natural goal scorer,” Fink said.
Tilton, on the other hand, relies more on technique and awareness.
“Elise is more of a finesse player,” Fink said. “She has good game sense and knowledge.”
Tilton has Penn’s highest shot percentage (.455) — a testament to her keen judgment and ability to execute.
Tilton can also be a disruptive force on the defensive end.
“She’ll position herself to give the appearance that something’s available then take it away rather quickly,” Fink said.
In addition to leading the Quakers’ offensive attack, they have provided a type of energy that is hard to come by.
“They’re fun teammates to have,” Fink said. “They’ve meshed well on and off the field with the team.”
For all the success Cole and Tilton have enjoyed as Quakers, it is hard to believe this is just the beginning.
Cole and Tilton both share family as a major factor in their surprisingly early collegiate successes.
Both of Cole’s parents are Penn alumni, which greatly influenced her desire to become part of the Red and Blue.
“It was always a dream of mine to come to Penn,” Cole said.
Field hockey wasn’t always a part of that dream, however. Lacrosse was initially Cole’s sport of choice.
“I thought I was going to play lacrosse in college for a long time,” Cole said. “I found my love for field hockey [sophomore year of high school].”
For Tilton, an affection for field hockey has been ingrained for many years, in large part due to her family’s involvement with the game. “Both my older sisters played field hockey,” Tilton said. “My aunt coached it.”
Elise’s older sister Emily, who currently plays for Vermont, has had a considerable influence on the Penn freshman.
“She’s the one that would drag me out every day and make me practice,” Tilton said. “I wouldn’t be where I was without her.”
The same could be said for Penn with respect to Tilton and Cole.
“Disciplined aggression helps Penn field hockey shut down Harvard”: http://www.thedp.com/r/64390ebe
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