August 30, 2007

Field Hockey Looks to Earn Ivy Title This Season

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After a strong second place showing in the Ivies last year, the field hockey team has become more experienced with hopes to turn that second place finish into an Ivy crown.
“We want to win the Ivy League,” said junior co-captain Belen Martinez. “But we’re going to take it one game at a time.”
The Red can aspire to higher expectations this season since last year’s squad has been supplemented by the new additions of a strong incoming freshman class as well as new assistant coach Mary McCracken. McCracken may be new to Cornell but she has 19 years of experience in field hockey prior to her tenure as assistant coach with the Red.
“Mary has helped our team out tremendously,” Martinez said, “She brings so much experience.”
Head coach Donna Hornibrook is going into her fourth season and is very confident with the depth and versatility of her players.
“We have a very strong group of freshman this year,” Hornibrook said. “We’re very balanced and have more depth than we’ve ever had before.”
This strong incoming class consists of freshmen Mattie Prodanovic, Kate Thompson, Catie De Stio, Sara Sanders, Stephanie Sanders, and Elizabeth Schovee. The Red has ten returning starters including co-captains Martinez and senior Katie Bradshaw whose experience will lead the Red throughout the season.
“Depth is one of our biggest strengths,” Martinez said. “We have lots of players that can play different positions. Our new freshmen are very talented and they increase the competition.”
The Red is coming off a 7-9 overall (4-3 Ivy) record last season which earned them a second place tie in the Ivies. Now, one of their goals is to finish with a better record than last year and win Ivies.
“We want to finish better than last season but we also don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” Martinez said, “We’re going to focus on each individual game.”
The squad graduated two of their best players from last season, however, they have a plethora of talent this year to fill in those shoes and keep their outlook on the upcoming season bright.
“Our goal any given day is to go out on the field and give our best effort,” Hornibrook said, “We look at each opponent separately and assess our goals when the situation arises”.
The Red has adopted a one game at a time outlook for the season and will need to start focusing in on each opponent when they face Lehigh in their first game on August 31st.
“We’re still a young team but we are much more mature than we’ve been in the past couple of years,” Hornibrook said.
The Red only has two seniors including Bradshaw and senior goal keeper Lizzle Goldblatt. These seniors, along with Martinez will have to use their experience to guide the Red to a solid season.
“I have a new role this year as captain and I will make sure that I do everything I can to bring this team a step forward,” Martinez said.