A new conference brings new challenges for Quinnipiac field hockey

A+new+conference+brings+new+challenges+for+Quinnipiac+field+hockey

Sierra Goodwill

Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Josh Silverman

The Quinnipiac Bobcats field hockey team looks to make a splash in its first season in the Big East Conference. The Bobcats got an invitation to join the Big East for the 2016-2017 season and Athletic Director Greg Amodio is proud of the strides the team is taking.

“Becca Main has done a great job in developing a top-notch field hockey program and this is the next logical step in its progression on a national scale.”

Quinnipiac finished its 2015 season with a heartbreaking loss in the MAAC finals, falling to Rider 2-0 in November. The loss fuels the fire of senior standout, Angie King.

“It left a bitter taste in our mouths, it was my junior year and as an upperclassman you want to carry the team and get those important wins and we didn’t. It always trickles into the spring.”

Even though this process was four years in the making, Main thinks the change in competitors will be a great challenge for the team.

The schedule is different this year for Quinnipiac, as all of their conference opponents aren’t in a row. Its first conference game is September 16, home against Georgetown University. It ends at the University of Connecticut on October 28.

“We got to one point where we couldn’t get through a practice with a certain concept,” Main said. “The players said everyone in the Big East has moved past this concept, we need to do it better and do it faster. Its about attacking what we’re doing and doing everything faster.”

Like a regime change, there is a learning curve and it might take a while before everyone is on the same page. In order to keep up with a tougher conference, the Bobcats had to change their offseason program to match the intensity of their new foes. 

“Emily Webster, our strength and conditioning coach, has been here for 2 years and she came here from Uconn, which is in the Big East, so she’s been preparing us,” Main said. “You’re going up against players that are bigger and stronger so you either have to be bigger or stronger or get quicker to stay away from them. We did 4 days a week in the spring and it’s usually 2 or 3 days. “

The top 3 scorers for the Bobcats last season, Savanna Reilly (9), Felicia Costanzo (7) and rKing (6), will be returning for another season which Main thinks will help in the transition.

“These 18 players that retuned have played 2 or 3 years together. That was reassuring because then we bring in 10 freshman and we’re not outnumbered by freshman which has happened before.”

Quinnipiac will have a familiar lineup when they open their season with Boston College on August 26.

King, a midfielder who makes her presence known on both ends of the field, notices a different mentality around the team.

“Once we found out we moved to the Big East we’ve had a culture change. Focusing more on mental toughness and that will hopefully show more on the field.”