If the Radcliffe field hockey team kicked up a lot of dirt this season, it's probably because there is nothing holding the dirt to the field. Or so the team argues.
"I don't think anyone will argue with me that we need a new field." Pippy O'Connor, Radcliffe's coach, said yesterday. "There's hardly any grass on it."
"I understand the physical education department is working on it, but I think they need a slight jolt," she said.
She cited the field as one of the most influential factors in a game. "If you play on a poor field it is reflected in your game," she said.
O'Cannor said that the worst problem with a poor field is that players slip in the mud. This is particularly dangerous in one alley of the field where a drainage pipe comes above ground, she added.
Sticks--a foul for raising the stick above the shoulder--are also more likely to occur when the mud freezes into ice and the ball bounces in the air, she explained.
The state of the field also presents a morale problem, she said, "It was a little embarrassing to have Yale drive four hours to play on a muddy field."
The location of the field in the middle of a residential area presents problems: "It wouldn't be distracting if I didn't have to contend with two games of touch football, a game of soccer and a frisbee game," she said.
Soccer games on the Quad present a particular problem, she said, since the goal cages are not designed to stand up to the impact of soccer balls.
Even without the interference from other student activities, the field is barely regulation in size and leaves no extra room for girls who aren't playing to practice skills. O'Connor said.
She described the Wellesley field as "a golf course" and the Yale and Princeton fields as fair.
"You live with what you have, but you shouldn't just sit back," she said. "The girls do deserve better."