Looking at the team stats over the past four years, it is clear that Penn field hockey has really improved from 2011, when it struggled to a 4-13 record on Franklin Field’s turf.
And seniors Helene Caniglia and MaryRose Croddick have been there every step of the way as the program has reinvented itself and gained a new home at Ellen Vagelos Field.
“Being a senior on the team, it’s great to see how far the team has come and how the team has progressed over my four years here,” Caniglia said. “Coach [Colleen] Fink wanted to build a new and successful program, and I was able to be here while she was doing that, so it’s just really great to see it all come together this year.”
The program was in dreadful shape before Caniglia and Croddick stepped onto campus. In 2010, Penn scored only 20 goals all season and went 1-6 in the Ivy League. The pair was entering on the ground floor.
“When my class of seniors committed to Penn, they had only won three games beforehand, so we were kind of coming in to a program that was really trying to turn around,” Croddick said.
Since that rough 2011, the Red and Blue have only improved. The 2012 season ended with a winning 9-8 record and the following year, the Quakers finished one win short of an Ivy title.
“Over the past four years, we’ve put in so much hard work during season and outside of season, working faster and getting stronger,” Croddick said. “The whole process has been really rewarding even though freshman year we only won four games. The year after that we wanted to be .500 and we got to that goal.
“Every year we have really worked hard to move up a little bit.”
Caniglia and Croddick hope to leave a legacy of hard work and dedication.
“We want to keep the momentum going and keep everyone’s energy and spirits up,” Caniglia said.
“We want to leave a strong work ethic and legacy for the girls,” Croddick added.
With time running out on their careers, both Caniglia and Croddick have been on the field plenty. Both have seen action in all of Penn’s games this season. Croddick, a midfielder, has tallied five assists, while Caniglia, a back, has contributed to a Penn defense that surrenders only 12.3 shots per game.
“The whole season has been a little bit bittersweet because every game is the last time I’m playing that opponent,” Croddick said. “It’s definitely been great to be one of the oldest returning players on the team.”
This season, though, has not been all the Quakers have hoped for. Penn stands 5-7 as of now, and 1-3 in the Ivy League after a tough overtime loss to Columbia last weekend.
But there have been highlights. Penn travelled to Lafayette on Sept. 24 and defeated the Leopards for the first time in eight years.
Croddick remains positive that the improvement the team has made will continue on in the classes below them.
“We want them to keep improving and keep working hard to bring Penn field hockey to its full potential.”Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.