The Division III Field Hockey National Collegiate Athletics Association season starts imminently and the KSC Owls, five time defending Little East Conference (LEC) champions, are ready to rock and roll in 2018.
Owls Field Hockey, lead by Coach Amy Watson (who did not respond to request for interview) is preparing for their upcoming regular season. The season kicks off on Saturday September 1 at 1:30 p.m., where the Owls will host the University of New England (UNE). The Owls are hoping to win their 6th straight LEC title.
According to the LEC website, Keene is projected to place second in the Little East Conference, falling behind Worcester State. This was determined by a survey based on the votes of the head coaches of the nine teams in the league.
This would be identical to the 2017 finish where Worcester lead the conference but choked in the playoffs, allowing the Owls to pummel Westfield State in the LEC championship game.
“I mean last year was great winning LEC and it was a great game, so obviously everybody is still kind of excited about that. I think that now we’ve gotta focus on this year, I think almost everybody is definitely ready to go for this year, but it’s still an exciting feeling that we won last year,” said Ally McCall, a defender for The Owls.
When asked about the season opener, Jordan LaRaus said: “It’s the season opener. We had a hard preseason. We’ve done a lot of conditioning just to get ready for tomorrow and the rest of the season… We’ve been working so hard for the last two weeks and just to put what we’ve been working on for those last two weeks into an actual game. I know that I’m excited, and I’m sure that from seniors to freshmen, we’re all excited”.
LaRaus continued by saying that she hopes the hard work pays off in the season.
“I think that we’re all excited… We’re all looking pretty strong, whether it’s from a defensive end, the goal, or the offensive end. So we’re all looking pretty good,” she added.
On October 2nd, Keene will play one of it’s biggest games of the year against Worcester State. LaRaus said she enjoys the “excitement and intensity” of these games, which influences her and her teammates to “play better hockey, focus on the same goals, and beat the other team”.
On October 13, Keene will play Plymouth State University. Members of the field hockey team consider Plymouth State to be Keene’s biggest rival in the LEC.
The KSC Field Hockey team has changed since they won the LEC title last year. Team captain Erica Stauffer, who had a hat-trick during the playoffs last year, said: “Last year we lost key defensive players, and we’re returning our offense, which is great, but rebuilding our defense is going to be the most difficult part of finding people to fill in the spots.”
Goalie Jordan LaRaus stressed that with all of the first-year players on the team, extra focus will have to be placed on communication. “But I do think this year’s team is more lively and energetic than last years.” she said.
To stay up-to-date on all things field hockey, students can visit the Keene State Athletics website.
Alex Harvey can be contacted at