The Slippery Rock field hockey team will head to Springfield, MA for Labor Day weekend to play two non-conference games. Their first matchup will be against Saint Thomas Aquinas College and they will then close out the weekend against American International College.
Last year, Slippery Rock finished the season with a 6-12 overall record and a 2-8 mark in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play. This year, head coach Julie Swiney feels confident that they will build off the 2015 season.
“I think we are excited going into the season. We have a lot of senior leadership and a lot of positives going into Saturday,” Swiney said.
Swiney is entering her seventh season as the Rock field hockey head coach and already ranks second in Rock history in career wins.
Slippery Rock is returning six starters and 18 players overall from the 2015 roster including reigning All-America honoree senior forward Megan McKay. McKay was also a first team All-PSAC selection and set single-season Rock records in goals scored (16) total points (38). Other returning Rock offensive standouts include junior Kailee Krupski and junior Alyssa Castle.
Defensively, the Rock team looks promising, returning five players from a group that kept opponents at bay with two or fewer goals in a game seven different times last season. Junior Kayla Mack headlined the defensive unit starting all 18 games as a sophomore last year and ranked 11th in the nation in defensive saves with five. Other notable defensive returners are junior Torri Rose and sophomore Liz Wolfe.
One of the questions The Rock faces going into this year is its goalkeeping. The Rock will be without recent graduate Carlee DuMars who was a three-year starter in goal. The Rock will look to junior Nicole Bream who appeared in five games in 2015, making ten saves and allowing only three goals.
“We feel confident in her abilities”, Swiney said on the Rock goalie. “She is ready to take the step into that starting role.”
The first game on the Slippery Rock schedule will be on Saturday, September 3rd at 1 p.m. against Saint Thomas Aquinas College. This will be the first time the two teams have met in their history. The Spartans finished their inaugural field hockey season with a 1-14 overall record.
The second matchup features a game against American International College. Last season the Yellow Jacket field hockey team finished with a 4-14 overall record. The game will take place on Sunday, Sept. 4th at 4 p.m.
Slippery Rock’s overall record against American International College is 4-2. The last meeting between the two teams resulted in a Slippery Rock 4-1 victory.