Trent Turbyfill ‘22
The field hockey team has had a strong start this season. Five promising first-years have joined this increasingly competitive roster and they all have their eyes on Atlantic 10 tournament later this fall. Izzy Moody ‘22, a defensive and midfield standout, describes her experience thus far and how they plan on achieving their impressive goal. Travelling all the way from her hometown, Chicago, Moody has assimilated well into the Davidson culture. She thanks her field hockey friends for this, explaining how close they are on and off the field. “Having an instant friend group [upon] arrival was very helpful and we’ve all [become] close very quickly.”
A central concern of Moody’s was the jump from high school field hockey to DI Collegiate field hockey. “It’s a completely different game. At college level, the game moves much faster. You only have a split second to decide what to do with the ball or it’s too late and you’ve let down your team.”
The astroturf is one factor leading to this faster game. Compared to a traditional field, the astroturf’s short synthetic grass reduces friction and lets the ball travel much further and at a faster pace. This means one little mistake, as Moody describes, can result in a quick turnover. Factors such as this dramatically widen the skill gap persistent in college level field hockey when compared to the high school level. Inexperience or lack of talent are very noticeable under these conditions. “It took a while to get used to, but I think I’m finally beginning to get the hang of it.
The team’s intense training most likely has a role in the new team members’ quick development. They practice for two hours every non-game day. The practices include “more than enough running,” as well as extensive drills to help with ball control and movement. “We use every second of our two-hour practices everyday to hone in on our skills. As a defender I can’t even begin to express how many times I’ve practiced boxing out strikers to prevent them from scoring,” Moody explained.
On top of this the team also lifts twice a week and recently has been experimenting with yoga. “Coach [Ginny] Turner knows isn’t easy on us, but she knows how to to increase our chances of performing well in the A-10 tournament,” said Moody. All this training has resulted in a stronger, quicker, more bonded team with ambitious goals. The road to the A-10 championship title won’t come easy. Saint Joseph’s, the defending A-10 champion, has started the year out strong with a 3-0 record in the conference. The Wildcats aren’t far behind with only one loss in A-10 conference so far. This past week, the Cats played Saint Louis, UMass, and Yale and left with a 2-1 record, losing only to UMass.
The team is scheduled to face off against Saint Joseph’s on the on the 16th of October. Hot off their 2-1 win over Yale, Moody says they plan to “make a statement” on the 16th. The team is improving “exponentially” and has come a long way in the shorts months since the beginning of practice. The team is “constantly challenging each other everyday to work together and fix our mistakes.” There is a long road ahead of the ‘Cats, but they go forward without fear.
Be sure to check out the field hockey team, as they return home against Lock Haven on Friday night at 5:30. The game is slated to have a huge impact on who will make it to the conference tournament.