Morgan Grabowski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Field Hockey team just wrapped up an exciting season, coming back strong after a season off due to COVID-19. They ended their season with a record of 13-6, going so far to beat Messiah University and The College of New Jersey, two top 10 teams. Beating TCNJ on their own home turf was a major accomplishment for the team, as Ursinus hadn’t managed the feat since 2010. After losing in the CCC semi-finals, field hockey got a second chance and received an at-large bid from the NCAA. Field Hockey completed their season seeded 2nd in the CCCs, and ranked 12th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
Coming back after COVID-19 meant dealing with a different team dynamic. Erin McIlhenny ‘22 decided last year to defer for a semester after finding out the season was canceled. The four seniors were worried about the uncertainty the pandemic presented, but they all knew, as McIlhenny says, that they “weren’t ready to hang our sticks up yet.” The leadership of the fifth-years was much appreciated by the rest of the team. This year, instead of only one new incoming class, there were two classes, both the freshmen and the sophomores, who had not yet had a competitive season. Although it was different, McIlhenny and the team kept a positive attitude, saying, “It was pretty exciting, and we felt great about our chances this season.”
They all continue to be hopeful for the team in future seasons. She is confident in the existing group of players that she and the rest of the seniors are leaving behind, and is looking forward to “the 2022 team picking up where we left off, but pushing it further.” Some of her favorite memories from this season include beating TCNJ in double overtime with a score from Jordan Moore ‘23, and finding out that the team received a bid from the NCAA. She describes the moment the team found out: “There was so much excitement, screaming, hugging, and phone calls. It was an unbelievable moment and a feeling that I will never forget.”
Laura Rothschild ‘23, felt that despite the difficulties with coming back from COVID-19, and multiple highs and lows throughout the season, the team’s hard work paid off. She is proud of making it to the NCAA first round and is grateful for the fifth-years, and their help with acclimating the freshman and sophomore classes to the competitive season. “Overall, we were able to rely on each other and balance academics, field hockey, and other commitments.” She is looking forward to another great season, with another chance at the CCC finals and NCAA tournament, as well as “growing both as an individual and as a team on and off the field.” Her favorite moments of this season include the two top 10 wins, and beating F&M 6-0.
Coach Janelle Benner is proud of her team, describing their season as, “amazing overall.” She is looking forward to the 2022 season, and is working on grabbing the Centennial Conference title and returning to the NCAA tournament. Benner believes in the dedication of the Field Hockey team, and is “rebuilding and refocusing” to prepare for next fall. The Field Hockey team had an outstanding season, and is working toward doing even better. Go Bears!