By Carolyn Eckel
The Sacred Heart University field hockey team is coming off of their summer preseason and is looking to take their first win of the season. T
he Pioneers ended their 2015-2016 season with a record of two wins and 14 losses and they are looking to improve for the remainder of this season. Thus far, the Pioneers are 0-6 and hope to make a turn around and end up on the road to success.
The past couple of seasons, the Pioneers have struggled in the MAAC conference, but with their former head coach resigning, the Pioneers welcome a new head coach, Sidney Van Der Merwe.
Van Der Merwe has been coaching for three weeks now. She had previously assisted with the Missouri State field hockey program for three years and acted as a head coach for a Cleveland, Ohio school for two years.
Having a new coach is not only exciting, but brings out new possibilities for the 2016-2017 Pioneer team.
“The record last year is last year. It’s not really my concern. My concern is this year. We are working really hard for what I want from them on and off the field,” said Van Der Merwe. “They see my coaching style, my philosophy on the field, so it’s an adjustment for them as well.”
The team’s goal is to make it to conference which starts in October. Their season ends with a game against Monmouth University, one of Sacred Heart’s biggest rivals.
The win or loss could determine if the girls make the conference finals.
“We are working out a lot of the kinks because once conference start in October, we are trying to build up to that point,” said senior defenseman Jaqueline Delannoy. “Regarding what our record was last year, we are a new team. We are building up to that point, so when conference comes we are ready to go ready to win some games.”
The girls had a two week long preseason and are now practicing multiple times a day in season.
“We have been improving a lot, and just trying to make it to conference, it’s instilled in all of us,” said Delannoy.
With ten games remaining in October, which determine if they make the MAAC conference tournament, the girls will be looking to grow and gel together under their new coaching staff.
“The team is set as it is, but I have different ideas, different techniques, different coaching styles. So the players are getting used to what I want from them,” said Van Der Merwe.
Only time will tell what is to come for the Pioneers field hockey team.
“It’s all about conference, it’s all about preparing for conference right now,” said Delannoy.