Field hockey aims for A-East tourney

As September gets under way at UVM, the field hockey team is looking for a strong start following a tough overtime loss to Boston University that ended their 2008 season, and kept them from their goal of winning the America East Championship.

The team opened the season with an 0-2 record after losing at home 3-0 to Boston College and 2-0 to William & Mary.

Head coach Nicki Houghton attributed some of the early season struggle to the lack of attention to detail that has happened on the field.

“We need to fine-tune the details in our play, because they come back to haunt you if you don’t execute,” Houghton said.

The team graduated five seniors last year but  brought in four new freshmen as they try to compete against several tough opponents this year. The Cats will face nine teams that finished last season with 10 or more wins.

Senior captain and forward Megan Maynard is confident in the team’s abilities against upper echelon opponents, such as Boston College, who was ranked 14th in the nation.

“We’ve demonstrated the ability to play together and compete against ranked teams”, Megan Maynard said, “We are hopeful that we will make the necessary adjustments in order to finish stronger.”

Maynard added that it helps to play top teams before going into the conference schedule given that the America East has plenty of field hockey talent.

“The America East is a very successful field hockey conference and our ability to prepare for league games with similar competition in our non-conference schedule is very helpful,” Houghton said.

Though last season did not end the way that the Catamounts had hoped, they have high expectations for this year with the current roster.

“The main goal is to make it back to the America East Tournament this season and that was something the team began o set out for back in November,” Houghton said.

The team’s strong unity could play a large factor in the success of the season.

“We’ve really had an opportunity to come together and embrace our roles and responsibilities that help our team succeed as a whole,” Maynard said.

The ladies next home game will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 12. They will host the University of Pennsylvania in their opening game for the Sheraton Catamount Field Hockey Classic.