As the last line of defense, junior goalkeeper Ava Rosati plays one of Penn field hockey's most important positions.
After an injury to then-senior Liz Mata last season, Rosati took over the starting goalkeeper position and has been growing into part of a strong defensive unit. As her confidence grows, she has stood her ground against one of the most challenging out-of-conference schedules the Red and Blue have seen in recent years.
Last season, she put together a 66 save percentage in goal. During her freshman and sophomore regular seasons, the Quakers were well above .500 in the twelve games she played, posting a record of 8-4.
But as impressive as Rosati's play has been, her coaching staff thinks she will develop even more as the season progresses.
“Ava is still finding her footing from an experience standpoint too," coach Colleen Fink said. "Even though she is a junior, she is still a new starter.”
As she's gained experience, her ability to think on her feet has also improved, which she trains by catching ball after ball to help improve her save rate.
Her impressive work ethic in practice has also transferred over to the classroom as well. A dual concentration in finance and accounting with a minor in classical studies, Rosati was named to the Dean's List her freshmen and sophomore years and has of one of the highest GPAs on the team. She is also a two-time recipient of the National Academic Squad Scholar of Distinction Award.
To start this year, the backline has built off its experience from last season, returning sophomore defender Reese Vogel and seniors Karen Seid and Paige Meily in addition to Rosati.
Rosati hasn't let her experience or playing time affect her mindset, though.
“There is no difference between starter and non-starter," Rosati said.
"You always have to be ready to jump in."