Reviewing Field Hockey’s Second Season

The second official season is now in the books for Charger field hockey, following a 6-0 loss to Southern New Hampshire Tuesday. The team finishes the year with a record 2-15, which is a huge first step for a program only in its second season and comprised of 14 freshmen on a 17-player roster.

“We had a very short time to all connect,” said sophomore Natalie Shaker. “After preseason, we all really clicked and we learned a lot about each other.”

A 2-15 year might not seem impressive, but for a young team, it is surely a step in the right direction. With the team not graduating a single player, the core will be together for the next two to three years. This puts the Chargers in a position to be a dominant threat in the years to come.

The team was set to earn the program’s first victory following their inaugural season in 2017, where they went winless in 13 contests. The season got off to a slow start, but began to take a turn in September when the Chargers hosted a tough Merrimack squad who, at the time, were ranked sixth in the nation.

“We’ve fought through every obstacle,” said freshman Kayla Silva. “Every time we faced a new challenge, we collected our thoughts, came together as a team, and used critical thinking to really get past it and always keep our heads up”.

The Chargers lost 4-0 to the Warriors, but that heads up mentality came out, as New Haven shut Merrimack out in the second half. An impressive feat that played a factor when New Haven traveled to Mercy College and scripted a new page in the record books, as freshman Taylor Geaglone’s late goal capped off a 3-2 victory for Chargers and ended the winless drought and finally put New Haven in the win column.

After losing their next contest, the team would face off against cross-town rival, Southern Connecticut State, on the blue turf at Dellacamera Stadium and it was one to remember. A scoreless game at the break, the Chargers and Owls would exchange goals early in the second half and the game appeared to be headed to overtime.

With just 20 seconds left in regulation, the Chargers made one final push for  a goal. Freshman Alexis Rider received a pass, raced towards the goal, and ripped a shot at the cage. Her teammate, Morgan McCarty, was right there to deflect it past the Owls keeper with 4.4 seconds left to secure a 2-1 win for New Haven.

It was huge for the team to earn that victory, winning two of their last three contests and securing the first ever win and first home win all in the span of a week.

“I love the cross-town rivalry,” said head coach Kelsi Lykens. “It runs deep here at New Haven with every team and for us to earn our first home win and first conference win against them, it means a lot. We had a great fan base there that game and they really came through for us.”

All in all, the team made tremendous strides in the right direction this season, and with the first win and home win already completed, the next goal for the Chargers, playoffs.