Andrew Anastasio – Sports Writer –
The Owls Field Hockey team suffered a 4-3 defeat to Adelphi in the first round of the Northeast-10 Tournament on Oct. 24, ending their season with an overall record of 8-10, 5-5 in conference play.
“Overall, I’m proud of their performance this season,” head coach Kelley Frassinelli said.
“I’m proud of what they accomplished considering coming in, they were not ranked, and we ended up being ranked fifth in the conference. We are pretty happy about improving on both our overall and conference records.”
The Owls got off to a slow start in 2012, losing eight of their first 12 games.
After their defeat to Saint Michael’s College on Oct. 6, the team’s third consecutive loss, the Owls proceeded to win four of their final five games to secure the sixth and final spot in the Northeast-10 Tournament.
“Coming off last season where we didn’t finish strong whatsoever, we made the playoffs this season which was our goal from the start,” senior defender Randi Schock said. “Overall, I think we did a great job. The incoming freshman did great, and the camaraderie on the team was right where it needed to be. This year was a total 360 from last season.”
The Owls finished their 2012 campaign tied for third in the Northeast-10 with 49 total goals scored.
Their 178 saves was second in the conference, 152 of which were credited to freshman goalie Audrey Dolloff.
In the playoff match vs. Adelphi, Southern trailed by one in the 56th minute after Lauren Anderson capitalized off of her own rebound to score.
However, the Panthers would respond in the 63rd minute when Molly Cuevas scored the game clincher. Adelphi went on to defeat Southern 4-3.
“It was definitely frustrating since Adelphi took us out two years ago on our turf,” senior mid-fielder Erica Fisher said. “It’s a big rivalry and we wanted to get our revenge. We kept trading goals, and eventually well fell just short.”
Next season, the Owls will be without Schock, Fisher, Laurie Cockerline and Paige Donlin, who all will graduate this upcoming spring.
Junior forward Sarah Cebry, who scored an Owls single-season record 23 goals this season, will return for her final season next fall.
Despite losing these players, Schock said she believes next year’s team will be even better. Schock was recently voted to compete in the 2012 National Field Hockey Coaches Association North-South Senior All-Star Game.
“I think the team next year can go a lot further,” Schock said. “I think they have a good chance at winning the Northeast-10. We have a lot of returners, and coach (Frassinelli) is doing a great job of recruiting to build the program back up. We have a great goalie in Dolloff who still is eligible for three more years, and Cebry is back for another year. She’s been big for us.”
Going into the off-season, the Owls have already begun their recruiting process. Frassinelli said she’s not only looking for strong athletes who she feels will thrive in the program.
“My responsibility right now is recruiting,” Frassinelli said. “We’re looking to bring in the same quality players for next year. It’ll be a bigger class we are looking to bring in. As far as the team goes, they’re going to rest before eventually starting up with their training.”