September 7, 2006

New Look Schedule Divides Year Into Home and Away for F. Hockey

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A glance at the women’s field hockey team’s schedule would make it seem as if someone is waiting to tear down Schoellkopf and break ground on construction for a new stadium. Yet, despite recent renovations to Lynah Rink and Hoy Field, Schoellkopf isn’t going anywhere — and neither is the Red, for now at least.

With six of its first seven games at home, the team will get its fair share of home cooking in the first five weeks of the season. In fact, after this Friday’s match up at Columbia, the Red will not hit the road for a full month.

“Honestly it doesn’t really matter when we have our home games,” said sophomore midfielder Katlyn Donoghue. “Last year we just had road game after road game.”

Both senior co-captain Lindsay Moyer and Donoghue stress the importance of preparing though work and rest for the road ahead, both literally and figuratively.

“We just have to take this momentum we’ve started, and hopefully continue it and then take it on the road,” Moyer said. “Coach [Donna Hornibrook] rests us as much as she can now, so we won’t wear out later.”

“By the end of the season we will be more conditioned,” Donoghue said. “We will be more focused, and it will be easier to travel.”
Sophomore attacker Brenna Gulotta admits that if she was forced to choose, she would opt for a bundle of home games at the end of the season. In this particular instance, however, she isn’t in any position to complain about the abundance of home games.

“I guess it would be nice to end the season with home games because it would be nice to have the really important, cut throat games that determine placing to be at home,” she said.

Despite stretches where the Red will play in three different cities in five days, and then a fourth three days later, traveling does maintain many benefits.

“Traveling is one of the easiest ways to get to know each other,” Moyer said. “When you travel you end up having bus talks, rooming with other people, and really getting to know them.”

With a team consisting of 15 sophomores this season, travel may have proved a vital tool in maturing the team.

“I kind of like traveling, we get closer,” Donoghue said. “We eat every meal together and do everything together. I actually lets us focus more on the game. In a way it actually relieves some of the stress. When we’re in Ithaca we have to deal with classes.”

Busing up and down the East Coast does have its downsides, however.
“I can’t personally say I love traveling,” Moyer said. “It’s hard to get work done, and you have to have good time management skills. You have to realize that a couple of days a week will be devoted to field hockey.”

Having so many home games can also mean avoiding certain fields.
“Penn plays on field turf,” Gulotta said. “Their the only team that uses it. We practice on astroturf all the time so we’re not used to it at all.”
Not every field can be avoided, though.

“Brown literally has a field on top of a roof,” Moyer said. “The middle of the field is flat, but starting about ten yards from the sides, the field slopes up. Once we were playing and it started raining and the sidelines were underwater. The ball was stopping in its tracks, it was awful.”