The Davidsonian

Field Hockey’s Season Begins to Wind Down

Anna Sharp ‘23 handles the ball in a 3-1 win over Towson on August 28th. Photo courtesy Jeff Sochko/DavidsonPhotos.com

Victor Taylor ’24 (He/Him), Sports Writer

Davidson Field Hockey is heading toward the finish line of their season, one that has been full of rebuilding and has emphasized the development of younger players on the team. A hot start was followed by some tough losses and a cold streak for the team. However, the team can be encouraged by a promising freshman class contributing this year, and for the return of many starters next year.

The team started the season 3-0, picking up wins against Georgetown University, Towson, and Queens University of Charlotte. This was the first time they did so since 2013, and the six goals they scored against Queens were the most since 2016. First year midfielder Sib Naaktgeboren ‘26 provided five assists over these games; the freshman class was off to a hot start. However, things started to sour after a disappointing loss on the road to Ohio. The team was still competing hard against ranked opponents, losing 2-1 on the road to The College of William and Mary and 2-1 in overtime to UMass-Amherst in an away game, but just could not find wins.

Over the last seven games, the defense started to struggle more as it consistently played on the road against some good squads, giving up 3 or 4 goals almost every match. While the ‘Cats have been able to score, some of the shootouts have been too much for the team to overcome. They have four games left to play, with three coming at home. Their lone road contest will be at Saint Louis University, a team that the ‘Cats have had a great degree of success against in the past few years, providing a great opportunity for the team to pick up a conference win.

Individual bright spots for the team include points leader Charlie Kabelac ‘24, with five goals and five assists; newbies Naaktgeboren, Hannah Merritt ‘26, and Celie Constantine ‘26 who have all played extensive minutes for Davidson; and minutes played leader and defensive rock Sarah Minges ‘24, playing her first full season after an ACL tear. While next year the team will be losing important seniors like Natalie Naticchia ‘23 and Anna Sharp ‘23, the ‘Cats will also return most of their talent: an important factor in determining whether the team will make a big leap next year.

While the 3-12 record may not be enjoyable to stomach for the squad, they can take comfort in knowing that there is more to come from them next year. With development and experience, this Wildcats team has the potential to take a big leap next year and write this season off as a developmental year.

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