On November 9, I told the DP writer covering our game vs. Princeton that I had no “season perspective” when asked to reflect on the Penn field hockey team’s 2013 campaign.
At that specific moment, I was too heartbroken and disappointed in the game. After all, I felt (and still feel) that if we had played better, made better decisions, capitalized on more opportunities and not beaten ourselves at times, that we could have won the Ivy League title against the defending national champions.
What an immature reply. Of course I have perspective. I was, and still am, filled with an overwhelming sense of pride.
At the start of the season we set three specific team goals: First, to not give up early, late or back-to-back goals; second, to have a double-digit win total (we won nine games in 2012) and third, to finish in the top two in the conference.
With the exception of faltering a couple of times on the first, we were able to accomplish all of our goals. I am sure my team would quote me on something that I commonly tell them: If you say something out loud, then you have to back it up and achieve it. We did that this year. The leadership and players were unbelievable. From the starters to the players coming off the bench and those competing for time, loyalty and the team goals were the number one priority.
I would say it was a special season but that may imply a temporary status — instead, I view it as a step in the direction that Penn Field Hockey wants to continue. The women involved with Penn Field Hockey want to win. We want to work hard. We want to be respected for a long time. The 2013 season was amazing for the staff and players; however, we all agree we are not done. This was still just a step.
In a nutshell, this season we found an amazing new home at Ellen Vagelos C’90 Field , broke a school scoring record and had four incredible seniors who started their careers 3-14 and finished it 13-4.
We had more players named as Ivy League Players and Rookies of the Week than any year in the last 25 seasons. We were honored with two women being voted first team All-Ivy by the coaches, the first time the program has had that happen since 2005. Two other women were voted second team All-Ivy, one of our women received Ivy League Rookie of the Year and we had two women receive NFHCA All-Region recognition. Finally, — and perhaps most importantly — we had a win total that has only been bested one time, in 1988 (14 wins) and matched one other time (2004).
A lot to be proud of, for sure, but a step nonetheless.
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