By: Emma Duggan, Staff Writer
On Saturday, October 10, the UMF Field Hockey Team will be hosting a pink themed game against Thomas College in honor of raising funds for the Martha B. Weber Breast Cancer Center at Franklin Memorial Hospital.
Lee-Anne Greenleaf, sophomore defensive player, explained how Thomas will be a big game for the Beavers. “We look back last year and see that we had two close games with them,” she said. “They’re definitely going to come out ready to win, but we have to come out stronger.”
For the game, the team will be wearing pink t-shirts and pink headbands. A breast cancer awareness and information table will be present, along with a bin for donations. Because October is National Breast Cancer Month, other UMF teams are following suit with pink themed games as well. Both the UMF Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams will be playing in the spirit of breast cancer survival as well.
Coach Cynthia Pratt shared her goals for upcoming game against Thomas, and for the season as a whole. “I hope to improve every time we take the field,” said Pratt. “[To] play our best field hockey when the tournaments comes around and overall, win the NAC championship.” With Thomas being a conference game, a win is a very important step in helping to achieve that goal.
Pratt also discussed the strengths of the team, including her bench and defensive line. “We have a strong freshman class and a solid defense,” said Pratt. “We don’t depend on any one player to carry us. On any given day someone can step up and be that person.”
Commenting on Pratt’s reference to the freshman class, Greenleaf noted the freshmen’s great performance so far. “They are awesome,” said Greenleaf. “They came in ready to work hard. They contribute huge to the team and put a lot of minutes on the board when we need them.”
Greenleaf believes that the strong relationship the team has with one another off the field contributes to their success. “I think we all get along really well,” she said. “The seniors have definitely done a good job of making everyone feel included and part of the team, especially the freshmen. And I think that makes a big difference. Everyone can communicate and get along well.”
The team’s harmony together was apparent in their home opener against Rivier University on September 20. They won 5-0 with strong pass to aid in shots. Senior Captain Mara Balboni scored the first two goals on the home turf, one in the first half with the second goal following in the second half. The remaining goals we scored by Emmah Spahr, Andrea Stemm, and Susan Newkirk.
“The second half was much better than the first,” Greenleaf said, reflecting on the game. “We came out with a lot of intensity and we definitely controlled the game.”