Field hockey coach Debi Field's 1977 schedule has her team spending a three-day hiatus in Denver at the end of November for the national tournament.
That may seem a bit presumptious for most coaches--considering the team does not start practicing until today--but if you were coming off an 11-1 season and had nine returning lettermen, you too might be tempted to be a bit smug about your chances.
It's all a bit different from last September, when Field predicted a "Building Year" for her 3-2-5 team. In an understatement, uncharacteristic of your typical coach, she had said that field hockey would need "three or four years" before it could be considered a "strong power."
What happened? A group of freshmen showed up last year who were "a real asset," according to Field. And the team went on to defeat all comers except for Princeton (loss) and Yale (tie).
More of the same is expected this season. About 35 freshmen are expected, and Field predicted that some returning players would have a tough time retaining their starting positions.
The new players will joing a group of lettermen led by Captain Lucy Wood, attacker Sarah Mleczko and goalie Ellen Seidler, who spent part of the summer trying out for the U.S. Olympic team.
Field will have help from a new J.V. coach this year. Judy Kosstrin will join the coaching staff from Cornell where she was head field hockey and lacrosse coach.
So things are looking good but Field is not looking past September and October. "We're here and people are shooting at us now," Field said Friday. She predicts tough matches from Yale, Dartmouth and Princeton.
The season, which gets underway September 16 with a scrimmage against Boston College, includes a match with Springfield, one of the top collegiate field hockey teams in the country.
The stickwomen will sponsor the Eastern AIAW field hockey tourney November 10-14, from which two teams will be chosen to go on to Denver.
Does it snow in Denver in November?