New Catamount receives accolade

First-year Lauren Tucker started the field hockey season by being named the America East Conference Rookie of the Week Aug. 31.

A defender from Brisbane, Australia, Tucker came to UVM this season wanting to help the team improve on last season’s record three wins and 15 losses.

Lauren Baum, the sports information assistant for UVM athletics, also believes the team will see major improvements this season but she knows it will not be easy.

“It’s always hard for a coaching staff when they are trying to usher new groups of athletes into a team, but it can also be challenging when they’re new themselves,” Baum said.

“I see this year as a huge momentum shift for everyone and you can already see the confidence all around,” Baum said.

Much of this positivity comes from players like Tucker, who said she expects the team to do twice as well as last year.

“I think that I am fitting in well with my coaches and teammates,” Tucker said. “Everyone is extremely supportive and welcoming. I could not have asked for a nicer, more positive team.”

However, there have been difficulties.

“Preseason was one of the most challenging physical and mental obstacles that I have had to endure at UVM,” Tucker said. “Moving countries was a big challenge.”

Baum also gives credit to the coaching staff, who she said are a crucial part of the team.

Head coach Kate Pfeifer is in her second year of coaching the team alongside assistant coaches Kyle Lyons and Melyssa Woods.

“[They] have done such a great job getting the upperclassmen and their first new recruiting class to blend together and be on the same page, despite not having worked together very long,” Baum said.

First-year Arlene De Leon said she  is looking forward to this season.

“I’m interested in watching field hockey because of the ongoing action,” De Leon said. “I think the new players will really help the team achieve their goals.”

Tucker said she does not want to disappoint the fans.

“My personal goals are to play strong and give my absolute best effort every game,” she said.

Tucker is averaging a goal per game through four games this season.

Baum is excited for the future of the team.

“The field hockey team and staff bring in a fresh wave for UVM athletics,” she said. “This is a new era of UVM field hockey.”

The field hockey team will be in action this weekend when they host the Catamount Field Hockey Classic where they will face Cornell University and Siena College.