Keene State College Field Hockey has been the team to watch at Owl Athletic Complex this season.
The team opened the season with a bang- posting a 7-0 record, their best start since the program has been in the Little East Conference.
It was not until the eighth game of the season, on September 24, that the Owls dropped their first game; a 2-1 loss against ranked opponent Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Head Coach Amy Watson attributed their fast start to a number of things, one being the Owl’s schedule. “The way the schedule played out for us, we’ve had five out of seven games at home, which is a pretty nice advantage,” Watson said.
Watson said, “We are getting contributions from a lot of different people and we are not relying on one person. That always helps when you can get more people involved and play impact roles, if one’s off then somebody else steps up.”
As for who has stuck out during the streak, Watson can name a lot of players.
“We have strong veteran players who have been doing a nice job and we have a really strong freshman class,” Watson said.
“The combination of younger kids and the older kids blending together has worked well for us.”
In addition, Watson said the Owls have good defensive play. The coach also said she preaches defense on any part of the field.
“We’ve really been trying to focus on defense being the entire team. Whenever the other team has the ball, we’re on defense, and that means even the offensive players are on defense,” Watson said.
According to Senior Captain and mid-fielder Amiee Donaruma, the chemistry has been with the Owls all season long and she feels a difference even from last year.
“It’s been very good, the chemistry has definitely made a difference in the games from last year we’ve been able to connect on the field really well and make some good passes,” Donaruma said.
The captain also has another big role with her senior class on the team: being a role model. Donaruma attributed that to the success as well.
“It is really important for us to be good role models and leaders because they’ll follow from our example, and I think we have done a good job at setting the stakes pretty high,” Donaruma said. Sophomore Forward Haylie Dolan said the leadership that Donaruma talked about is definitely noticed by the underclassmen.
“They are great leaders for us. They are there on or off the field if you need them and even the juniors- there are only three of them, and they are motivating everyone,” Donaruma said. Even though the team has gotten off to a fast start, Watson said there is still a lot to work on.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on to get our offense really firing and we are always working on our defense to make sure that is happening, “Watson said.
Watson also noted that the Owls need to work on creating less fouls during the game. The Owls are definitely motivated to have a strong finish to the season.
Dolan talked about last year’s loss in the LEC Championship, how it affected the team and how the team feels that this could be their year.
“It is a different atmosphere, everyone wants to be there and everyone wants to win, we all want to win the LEC because we lost last year and now we are still riding on that and we want payback,” Dolan said.
Dolan also said she believes the Owls can bring home the LEC title this year.
“We have to keep practicing like we want to play, we have to focus during practice and play hard and every game we need to motivate each other to come out on fire and treat every game like it is the championship,” Dolan said.
As Watson said, there is still work to be done if they are going to win the LEC.
“Even though we have a winning and successful record so far, they get that we’re not the team we want to be yet and there is still work to be done and jelling and meshing have to happen, ” Watson said.
Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at