On Sept. 6, the Yale women’s field hockey team will take Johnson Field for its first game of the 2014 season. Goalkeeper Heather Schlesier ’15 will take the field for her final season with the Bulldogs, and the News spoke with her to discuss the upcoming season, as well as her expectations for herself and the team.
Q. What are some of the strengths of the 2014 team?
A. This team is one of the most cohesive groups of girls I have ever had the pleasure of playing with, and I really feel that [our cohesiveness] is one of our greatest strengths. I look forward to playing beside each and every one of these girls this season.
Q. Based on some of Yale’s previous seasons, it’s uncommon to start the year with four straight home games. Will the comfortable start provide momentum for when the team has its first away match of the year against Harvard?
A. I think that having our first few games be at home will absolutely help us gain momentum to carry us through our first away trip. There is nothing like playing on Johnson Field with friends and family around cheering us on. We love to play at home and we hope to see a lot of Yalies out there supporting us.
Q. How has the team reacted to the addition of assistant coaches Parsley and Tingley thus far, and have they changed the team dynamic at all?
A. We are thrilled to have the addition of Coach Parsley and Coach Tingley. Coach Parsley is a recent grad, which is nice for the team, as she has so recently been through her collegiate career. Coach Tingley has worked with us a little in the past and she has been instrumental in helping our team. They have really added a new dynamic to the team, especially Coach Parsley because of her youth.
Q. What are some of your expectations and goals for the season as a goalkeeper?
A. As a goalkeeper on the team, I am hoping for a solid season with some hard-fought wins and a lot of clean defense. I am fully confident in the abilities of my team both offensively and defensively.
Q. What are your hopes for the team’s performance this season?
A. We have the same goal as any other team at Yale: to win the Ivy League and compete in the NCAA tournament.
Q. How has the class of 2018 performed in its first few practices at the Division I level?
A. Our freshmen have been an incredible addition to the team. They are all dynamic players [who] bring wonderful personalities that click well with each other, and the rest of the team. I am excited about their play thus far and can’t wait to see their field hockey careers flourish.
Q. Do players and coaches expect the freshmen to make an immediate impact on the field?
A. I think both the coaches and players always put a lot of confidence in a new class, and this one is no different. We are optimistic that they will continue to be a big part of this season.
Q. Yale has traditionally struggled against the University of Connecticut. Do you think competition will be tougher than normal this year given that UConn is the defending national champion?
A. UConn always puts together a competitive team, and we are fortunate to have them so close to us so we can play them every year. Every season is a new season, and we look forward to competing with them again this year.