When most people think about field hockey, they think about a girly sport with skirts and hair bows. No one takes into account the aggression and the masculinity of field hockey, and captain Justine Ruhlin ‘15 makes it clear that it’s a lot harder than most people think, commenting that “People lose eyeballs and have jaws broken. [It’s] an intense, dangerous sport.” And with a current record of 3-5, the team is fighting for more wins.
Despite the eminent dangers of the sport, Goucher’s team is ready for action. Their motto, “Outwork the competition,” is about challenging themselves in all situations, including the classroom, the playing field, and the college campus in general.
They want to succeed in as much as possible. Every team at Goucher has conference goals for the season, and field hockey is no different. Their goal this year is to win one conference game and to become a threat in the Landmark Conference. While Catholic and Drew are the most competitive teams in the conference, captains Ruhlin and Emily Gill ‘15 state that they are comparable to Moravian, Juniata, and Susquehanna. According to Ruhlin, they are just taking the season “one conference goal at a time.” It seems that they are already a Landmark Conference threat: Ruhlin, Gill, Lizzie Barminski ‘17, and Demie Huffman ‘16 are all statistical leaders.
The true foundation of the team is in the dynamic. The Gophers were lucky enough to receive a talented group of freshmen, many playing for Futures Field Hockey, a competitive program in the United States. The freshmen play some of the “toughest positions in field hockey,” according to Gill. She comments that there is no difference in status on the team between the underclassmen and upperclassmen. Everyone has an important role to play, and the upperclassmen are hoping their positive influence will help the new players continue to mold the team. The leadership on the team has a similar camaraderie. With three captains (Gill and Ruhlin and Liz Weiner ‘14), a new graduate assistant, and a head coach in just her second year in that position, the freshmen have many people to turn to if they need help.
One thing the field hockey team is most proud of is their work off the field. The team has volunteered at Barclay Elementary teaching field hockey and team building to elementary schoolers, and plans to work more on tutoring and the “student athlete” this year.
Last year, the team put up Operation Beautiful post-it notes around campus and hopes do it again this year. They are also fundraising for a trip to Argentina. They participated in the recent Color Me Rad race, and hope to have bake sales and sports bra sales to further assist in their funding. The team itself is also close and have done activities together like swing dancing, tie dye, and visiting an ice cream factory. The captains feel as though team bonding is imperative to the Gophers’ overall success.
Goucher field hockey is also looking for more support from the community. As the season progresses, the caliber of the game will pick up and will become even more exciting. Come down to Beldon Field tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to see the Gophers in action against conference team Juniata.