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Field hockey looking to continue improvement in second half

Field hockey looking to continue improvement in second half

Robert Ingersoll once stated, “The greatest test of courage on Earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” This quote is very prevalent with this year’s Hofstra field hockey team, which currently holds a 3-11 record.

The Pride initially got off to a slow start, going 1-7 before breaking their losing streak with a shootout win against Sacred Heart. They carried that momentum into Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play, producing a dominant 3-1 win over Towson University followed by a close 1-0 loss against the College of William & Mary. A few days later, the Pride fell to Northeastern University, and now sit at a 1-2 conference record.

Up until this point, Hofstra has never had a game where they did not play with all they had, and have shown steady improvement all season leading up to CAA play. What initially may have seemed like a bad season is now starting to change at the midway point of the season for the Pride.

The Pride’s goals for goals against ratio is steadily improving. They have brought their average goals per game up to .70, which, while still low, is a vast improvement from earlier in the season.

Freshman goalkeeper Betty Bosma has been dominant all season so far, leading the CAA in saves and being a brick wall for Hofstra in net. With the help of the defense, who has also remained very solid all year, Bosma is now allowing just about three goals per game throughout the season, another improvement from when the season started. The improvements experienced on both sides of the ball are finally starting to really show at the right time of the year.

As CAA play really starts to kick off with the Pride’s offense scoring more, the defense starting to let even fewer goals in and Bosma remaining solid in the net, the team is making its case to be a dark-horse candidate in the CAA conference tournament.

“Only the top four teams make the CAA tournament ... if we continue to play the way we have been, we have a good chance to sneak into the tournament. We need our defense to become more solid as well in the second half of the season,” said Hofstra head coach Kathy De Angelis.

De Angelis mentioned that the team was loaded with freshmen and sophomores and that now at the midseason point, they have become a closer-knit group, which she believes will lead to more victories for the team and maybe that surprise CAA playoff berth that few expected.

The defense has started to learn how to work with each other and the forwards on the team have greatly improved in one-on-one situations, something DeAngelis had said was an issue earlier in the season. She cited that the team only lost 1-0 to a William & Mary team that is usually ranked in the top 25 in the nation.

As key cogs in Hofstra’s improvements and recent success, Bosma and freshman defender/midfielder Cami Larsson are two players who may very well end up earning all-conference honors at the end of the season.

“They both played well and need to continue playing well and need to play even better than that to make the CAA all-conference teams,” De Angelis said.

Even during a stellar season, Bosma maintains that her success is a function of those around her. “Obviously my team, but also my speed skating coach, who helped improve my speed and also reflexes for field hockey. That is what has helped me the most during the first half of the year.”

Bosma was very thankful for her great teammates and also said that she seeks to constantly improve throughout her time this year to become the best goalkeeper she can be.

On the other side of the field, there’s Larsson, the player scoring the goals instead of defending them. When Larsson asked about how she hopes to contribute for the remainder of the year, she said, “For the next half of the season I want to keep scoring and helping the team out.”

Larsson stated she was prepared to keep training more and more to maintain her status in the top 10 scorers in the CAA.

Both Bosma and Larsson expressed how for the second half of the season they want to improve on their already solid playing abilities.

CAA play may have just begun, but the future is very bright for Hofstra field hockey looking forward to the remainder of the season.

The team has started to come together and is showing major signs of improvement on the field. What may have seemed like a bad season when the year started is now turning around during the second half of the year.

Like in all sports, a second-half surge can propel a team to a championship. Hofstra field hockey is primed for a second-half surge, and maybe even a playoff spot.

Photo courtesy of Cam Keough

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