With only six returning players off the 2022-2023 roster, the Varsity Field Hockey team underwent a complete overhaul for the 2023-2024 season under coaches Trish and Kate Austin ‘01. Over the course of the season, Trish and Kate saw their young group evolve into a cohesive, talented team. With seven freshmen and sophomores on the roster, and only three seniors, the team won three of their final five games heading into Holderness Day. Read more in this week’s Team Spotlight below!
How have you seen your team evolve and grow over the course of the season?
Trish ‘01: We had to devote a significant amount of time in the beginning of the season learning to play with each other. Not only was the roster mostly first year athletes to Proctor, seven out of nine of these players are freshmen and sophomores. Despite being young and new, we were fortunate enough to welcome a significant amount of talent. This team has battled with everyone of our opponents. We believe the efforts to grow this season will lay a solid foundation for the next two years.
Jane ‘25: With a very young and new team, a large portion of our season was spent figuring each other out. In our very first jamboree, we won the majority of our games. After walking away from that field, I left with a sense of hope. With a very young team this year, including myself, I think we learned a lot. With the help of Kate and Trish, our team learned a lot about the sport of Field Hockey. While there was some struggle to push the ball across that white line of the goal, we found that we were evenly matched or even better than most of the teams we played. As the season progressed we found ourselves becoming more and more successful in the circle finally winning. While I think our small team has been close from the beginning, I think winning really showed us how close and proud we are of each other.
Molly ‘25: Last year we lost most of our starting line up which meant a lot of new people had to step up this year, including returners. So when the season started only a couple of us had played together. The start of our season was kinda rough, not knowing how each other played and still getting to know each other off the field. But as the season progressed we grew and were able to connect on the field more and in the locker room. Our midfield had exponential improvement, our defense became more united and our forwards started to drive the net more. If you watched our team at the beginning of the season and our most recent game they are two very different teams. Although we didn’t always get the outcomes we wanted, the growth we gained this season is undeniable and will set us up for next season. Our team has been able to grow with not only hockey skills but our hockey IQ which will set us up for success in games to come.
How, as captains, have you sought to create a good culture on the team? How have older players helped younger players fit in and feel a part of the group?
Jane ‘25: When I was a freshman on the team, I was under the powerful leadership of Lucy Werner ‘21 and Cam Estella ‘21. They were so experienced and so respected. But most importantly they were kind and always made sure to pull everyone in. Our team was and always has been very tight-knit, and I believe Kate and Trish have always had a large expectation of community and respect for each other. I do not believe that age has anything to do with leadership. We see some sophomores helping out seniors and vice versa. Everyone has a place on this team and has earned their role on our team. I think that is so important to remember. With three new freshmen and many other new players, returners always step in and make sure we check in with each other. At the end of every practice, we put our left hands in a circle. (Left because it is closest to your heart) And we say “Family”. Because field hockey is our team's fall family, Molly VanRanken and I were very honored to step into the role of Captains as juniors this year. In years past, I spent a lot of time looking up to the leaders before us, and I am working hard every day to be what I once looked up to.
Molly ‘25: I was honored when I was elected captain and the most important thing for me as a captain is to make sure everyone is include. Again having such a new team with most people coming into Pre season having never met each other. Jane and I have been very persistent with trying to unite our team by team actives and supporting each other off the field as well. I have looked up to all the captains on my past field hockey teams such as Lucy Warner, Cam Estella, Bridget Everett, and Catherine Windsor. All these individuals possessed great sportsmanship, kindness, self control, and were the most selfless people I have ever met. I try to take how these captions taught me when I was a freshmen and sophomore and implement them into our team now. Every practice I try to ask everyone how their day went and how they are doing, and I have happily made connections with everyone on the team. Our team has bonded and I would even go as far to say that our team environment is the best I’ve ever been apart of.
What are you most looking forward to during these last two games of the season, especially Holderness Day?
Trish: We are most looking forward to watching our team compete and finish out their season. This group has been together for over two months. They have been working hard each day and seeing them finish out their season is what it's all about. Holderness Weekend is more about our larger family on campus and seeing the players get excited and pumped up is fun to watch and experience. Holderness Weekend is always electric, the fan's engagement and their excitement, our athletes perform at a different level. Performing in front of both communities raises the stakes, not to mention it is about winning for our community and bringing home The Granite! Win or lose, this group has a lot of heart, grit and a strong sense of team. This group plays and believes in each other! Our family is strong, and the end of the season is always bittersweet. No one wants it to end.
Jane ‘25: I am always excited for a little bit of fan action when we can get it. Holderness weekend will be exciting because the last time we played Holderness it was a very tight game. It will be sad to wrap up this season. Fall is my favorite season because of this team!
Molly ‘25: I am looking forward to proving how far we have come since our first game. Not only proving it on the scoreboard but also to ourselves, it was hard to see improvement when the scoreboard doesn’t reflect it but I hope my teammates see how much we have evolved. I am excited to play out these last two games and not only be competitive but have fun. Every practice and game, everyone who steps on the field puts everything they have into this sport and I’m so proud. I look forward to seeing how our team will show off our improved skills and play out the last of our season together. I’m so hyped for Holderness weekend to also prove to our fans and opposing team that we're here to win.