Coming off of a second weekend of successive home games, the field hockey team is ready to face teams on turf other than its own.
This weekend, the Bulldogs are taking their first road trip up to Massachusetts, where they will face Harvard on Sept. 20 and Boston University on Sept. 21.
“When you’re traveling with the team, you have all of us singing ‘Wrecking Ball’ so off-key, eating unlimited snacks, sleeping in extremely uncomfortable positions, trying not to fall in the cramped bus bathroom, watching crazy TV shows, and seeing coaches trying to be ‘hip’ and jump into our conversations,” captain Nicole Wells ’16 said. “All of these define a typical field hockey bus ride.”
According to head coach Pam Stuper, these games will be different for the freshmen, who have never had the chance to play in college except on Johnson Field. The rest of the team, however, is already used to travel, especially since they had the chance to fly to California last season to play against Cal and Stanford.
Adding to the excitement, this first away game will be against rival Harvard, which always gets the team excited, added Stuper and several of the players.
“It’s the most pumped-up game of the season,” Wells said. “Beforehand, there are many extreme emotions running, people exaggerate their pregame routines, constant rehab runs and uniform checks to make sure everything is in place. This will be a big game, especially since last year we lost by one goal. We are going to Boston for revenge.”
The team is especially hungry for another win, since Saturday’s match will be the team’s first against an Ivy League opponent, said several players interviewed.
After Harvard, the team is already anticipating its Ivy League matchup against Princeton on Sept. 27.
“From here on out we are on the path to the Ivy League title for this season,” Wells said. “This year in particular will be competitive since anyone can win it. Our strategy is to show our competitors the best hockey that we can play while leaving everything we have on the field.”
Right now, that strategy includes breaking down film and coming up with a specific game plan, according to Stuper.
Wells said that the team has been ready all season, but Stuper disagreed.
“If we had to play [Harvard] today, no [we wouldn’t be prepared], but that’s what this week of practice is for,” Stuper said. “We will be ready. My greatest hope is that we play the way we are capable of playing and go out there and play 70 minutes of good hockey.”
After earning its first win of the season last Saturday against Quinnipiac, the team is hoping for another victory, according to players.
This first weekend away has the chance to even out the team’s 1–3 record and put the Elis in good standing in the Ivy League.
“I think it will be a great game for us and we’re all very excited,” back Kiwi Comizio ’18 said. “It’s going to be strange playing on someone else’s field because we [the freshmen] have only played on Johnson Field, but we definitely want to come home with victories against Harvard and Boston University.”
The team will return home to play Princeton on Sept. 27 and Stanford on Sept. 28.