Season Preview: Field Hockey, On The Attack

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

field hockey prevew click to play Below is the transcript from a video preview of the 2014 Muhlenberg field hockey season. To watch the video, click on the thumbnail at left or here.

The Muhlenberg field hockey team has high hopes for the 2014 season after a 2013 campaign that included a Centennial Conference tournament for the first time since 2007.

“Last season was amazing,” said senior goalie Sierra Lenker. “I think as a team it really built our confidence knowing that we could get into the playoffs and beat Ursinus, and we had a couple other great wins in there. I think that taking away [from that experience] we know we can do it.”

Part of Lenker’s confidence comes from the strong group returning to Muhlemberg in 2014.

Ray Gallagher “Going into this season we are bringing back a lot of upperclassman and a lot of people who have played with each other and work well with each other,” said senior forward Christine Germaske. “We have a few freshmen that are definitely going to see the field a lot. We work really well, we can communicate and we know how each other plays and their playing style. So I think we are going to be very confident with one another on the field.”

Germaske is part of a senior-laden attack up front with classmates Lauren Jordan, Meghan Gill and Samantha Swire. Senior Allie Califano and the sophomore duo of Emily Boyle and Rachel Strow will bring strength in the middle of the field while second team all-conference selection Claudia Theriault will look to continue her great play from her freshman season in the backfield with senior Ray Gallagher. For Germaske, two senior returners stand out.

“Returning we have a few key players. The first one is Kayleigh Thies; she was an All-American last year,” added Germaske. “She is a really strong player in the middle of the field. She can get the ball and distribute it to the right people at the right time. Heather Porrini is coming back and she is really strong in the back. She can communicate well with the offenders, which really helps us to see the field and know where to take the ball next.”

With an All-American on the attack and strength throughout the field, Lenker knows what she can bring in the cage in 2014.

“I really hope to bring a confidence,” said the senior keeper who started all 18 contests for the Mules last season. “I played all year last year and I think that really helped to get me acclimated with conference play. It’s tough, you know, watching for a while and you pick up on a lot of things, but you never really know until you get in the games

“Defensively in the past we’ve had a really good success rate on corners, so corners against us we’ve had a very low percentage go in,” continued Lenker. “I think that if we can keep those statistics up, that would be amazing. Not only that, we have a lot of speed on the defense. A lot of stick skills. That’s a great thing to have on a team.”

As for expectations on the season?

“I think as a team we are really hoping to get back to those Centennial Conference playoffs. That’s our ultimate goal. But breaking it down more than that, I think the positive attitude, the picking people up, get through those tough wins, tough losses ... as a team. So I think taking it one game at a time and not looking too far ahead is something that we should do.”

The Mules open the season on Friday night when they play host to Scranton.

pictured at right: Gallagher has four career defensive saves, has started her last 34 appearances and added a goal and an assist in 2013.