Tejera | It’s now or never for Penn field hockey


Sophomore midfielder Courtney Kenah battles for ownership towards a Boston College participant throughout the sport at Ellen Vagelos Field on Sept. 9.
Credit: Samantha Turner

Resilience: The skill to get well from or alter simply to misfortune or alternate

The Penn field hockey group has confronted a ton of misfortune up to now 3 weeks as it’s off to an 0-6 begin to start its 2022 marketing campaign. 

Not simplest has it had the second-toughest energy of agenda in Division I to this point, however those video games have additionally been heartbreak after heartbreak since the second one weekend of the season: a penalty shootout loss towards Boston College, a defensive miscue with underneath 3 mins left towards Villanova that allowed the Wildcats to tie the sport up and win in OT, 3 objectives in six mins from Northwestern to turn the ranking from 2-1 Quakers to 4-2 the opposite direction, and a fourth-quarter purpose on a nook by way of Drexel to lose a 6th directly sport. The Quakers led the sport in the future in the second one part in 3 of those 4 video games.

So sure … it’s been a difficult get started for the Red and Blue, however this isn’t a nasty group. This is a group that gave the undefeated reigning nationwide champions their first two deficits of the season. This is a skilled and skilled group, with six seniors within the present beginning lineup, 4 of whom earned All-Ivy honors closing 12 months.

What is it that this group wishes going ahead? The intangibles: the psychological toughness to bop again once they get scored on or make a mistake, the arrogance to tear extra pictures from any place throughout the taking pictures circle and earn extra scoring alternatives off deflections and corners, and a few of that “moxie,” or cockiness if you are going to — a bit of conceitedness never hurts. This is all about mentality. This is resilience.

When I interviewed captains Elita Van Staden, Meghan Ward, and Gracyn Banks after the primary weekend of the season, they made something very transparent: Their purpose for this 12 months used to be an Ivy League name. They have been totally assured that they might do it then, however the fear is that if this group nonetheless believes they may be able to do it now. Coach Colleen Fink lately took to Twitter to let the arena know that she nonetheless believes in her group.

“I want to thank those around me for the support as the start of this season has been challenging,” she wrote. “BUT I want to make sure everyone knows that we have an AMAZING TEAM … I stand with them in my belief. They are talented, mature and focused women.”

It’s a really perfect feeling to grasp your trainer has entire religion in you, however additionally it is as much as the remainder of the management on this group to transmit that self belief going ahead.

The excellent information is that Penn is lately 0-0 in Ivy League play and is beginning with a blank slate. The dangerous information is that issues aren’t getting more straightforward anytime quickly. Penn kicks off Ivy play this Friday towards the hardest opponent within the league, No. 8 Princeton, and must observe that up with a house sport towards No. 10 Harvard the next Friday. 

Winning the Ancient Eight — which Penn hasn’t carried out since 2004 — implies that the Quakers have to overcome no less than this type of two fighters — or even then there have simplest been two 6-1 champions since 2010, with the remainder of them going a really perfect 7-0.

When Penn travels to Princeton on Friday, they are going to have to come back and play in addition to they did towards Northwestern. They have to come back out taking harder pictures like Van Staden’s turnaround purpose in that sport, however will have to decrease turnovers at the defensive part that resulted in fastbreaks like the one who allowed Northwestern to erase Penn’s lead. 

The Quakers are going through the most productive participant within the Ivy League, Beth Yeager: closing 12 months’s Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year, who’s averaging 2.14 issues according to sport this season, and is recent off two objectives on Tuesday to raise the Tigers over the up to now undefeated Maryland Terrapins. If they may be able to gradual her down the way in which they did to Northwestern’s Bente Baekers, forcing different avid gamers to make the performs, they’ll be in a excellent place.

It’s a difficult process forward for the Red and Blue, they usually’re going to want resilience as it’s now or never for them. With six seniors of their present lineup, led by way of Gracyn Banks — arguably the most productive participant in program historical past — the clock is ticking for this Penn group. How will they reply? We’ll to find out quickly sufficient.

Juan Tejera is a sports activities reporter for The Daily Pennsylvanian and is a College sophomore from Miami learning economics. He may also be reached at dpsports@thedp.com.

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