Field hockey starts 0-3

Matt GadSports Writer

Senior Amanda Oberly came away with her first collegiate goal despite the Owls falling to Mansfield, 4-1, last Sunday and moving to 0-3 to begin the 2018 campaign.

“It was a penalty stroke, which is something that she works on,” head coach Kelley Frassinelli said, referring to Oberly’s goal. “She certainly deserves the credit for that. Whether it’s a win or a loss, [the goal] is obviously an accomplishment.”

The Owls started the season Sept. 3 with a 4-1 loss to Molloy College before this past weekend’s tournament, an event hosted here every four years, on a rotation with Mansfield, Shippensburg and Saint Michael’s.

“For me, obviously, we want to win. Everyone wants to win,” Frassinelli said. “But it’s about learning and it’s about growing. For me, how they grow in this game is tenfold. It’s the working together, you know, because at that point some of them are still struggling to make connections.”

The Owls’ two-game appearance at this round-robin tournament featured a 5-0 loss to number-one ranked Shippensburg University, a team that went 17-4 last season and won the Division II national championship, prior to last Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at the hands of Mansfield.

“We have eight seniors on the team and two juniors,” Frassinelli said. “The rest of the class is five freshmen and five sophomores so, you know, we’re feeling young but we have some experience in the seniors.”

Emma Perry, now an assistant coach, was the only senior the team graduated last year. There’s a large senior class this season, featuring Kelli McCombs, Natasha Prukalski, Emily Stross, Julia Honan, Jana Migliaro, Jacqueline Touzos, Sadie Young and Oberly. The second-largest class is the sophomores at five, equal to the incoming recruiting class.

“I think we’ll definitely stay ‘grouped-together,” Oberly said. “We learned a lot during this tournament, especially playing Shippensburg. We did a really good job of keeping them out and working in one unit and I think we finally learned what it is to work as a team.”

The last time the Owls hosted this tournament, made to honor former head coach Dora Metrelis, was in 2014. They lost to Mansfield, 6-2, and Shippensburg, 6-0, and ended up finishing the year with a 3-15 record and just one conference victory, a 3-2 mark at Southern New Hampshire Nov. 12, 2014, in their second-to-last game of the season.

“[The goal] feels nice but I was pretty nervous. I just told myself to shoot it,” Oberly said. “Team wise, from here we can definitely pick it up.”

One change the team made this year was to move the home and away benches across the track and further away from the main stands, something Frassinelli said was just to get them to become more focused.

“We put our benches on the opposite side of the field just to give us a little bit of separation and focus so when we’re out here it’s just about the team,” she said.

The team will be back in action Friday in Waltham, Mass. for a contest with Bentley University and will then return to Jess Dow Field Sept. 18 for LIU Post at 4 p.m.

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