Field Hockey 9.21.11 1

Field Hockey Team Picks up Steam: Hawks Win Four Straight Games

“We will win the NEC this year, there is no doubt in my mind,” exclaimed junior Nicole Manziano when asked about what her predictions were for the season. The field hockey team is looking to build on the success they experienced last season and to take the next step and become NEC champions in 2011.

The road to that NEC championship started off a little bumpy earlier this season. The Hawks kicked off regular season play against the #5 team in country in Syracuse. It was a close game early on, but Syracuse got on the board 22 minutes in and they never looked back. The Orange went on to win 40, outshooting the Hawks 333.

“It was exciting because it was both of our first games and anything could happen and we showed we could hang with them and run with the big dogs,” said head coach Carli Figlio.

The Hawks came out firing in their next game against Hofstra, but unfortunately lost a close one 43. Graduate student Morganne Firmstone had two goals in the contest, but in the end Hofstra was able to hang on and win by a narrow margin.

“Early in the season we got a little bit away from our hunger to win games early in the season because we have some new voices on the team, so we’re trying to take each play as it comes to us,” Figlio said.

The tide began to turn for the Hawks on Friday September 9, when they squared off against Lehigh. The Hawks dominated the field of play and when all was said and done they came out with a 41 win. Junior Michelle Pieczynski led the Hawk attack by scoring three goalswhich gave her a hat trick on the day.

The momentum from the win against Lehigh carried into their next game against Columbia. The Hawks once again scored four goals and won the game 40, behind a strong effort by goalkeeper Teresa Mathews. Sophomore Patricia O’Dwyer led the team offensively with five points and it was overall a very strong team effort.

The Hawks’ hot streak reached three wins in a row, when they defeated Vermont 42 on So Sweet A Cat Field. Tara Brown got the Hawks on the board early when she scored on a shot from the top of the circle. Kayleigh Kalamar, Alex Carroll, and Amanda Schoenfeld also added goals in the game.

Field Hockey 9.21.11 2On Sunday afternoon, the Hawks faced a fellow New Jersey foe in Rutgers at the Bauer Track & Field Complex in Piscataway.  The game was also the second annual “Stick It to Cancer” event, where $3,000 was raised.

The game was a very close battle, in which the Hawks were able to come out on top in the end. With the game tied at one in the second half, Firmstone put the Hawks ahead in the 46th minute when she scored a goal off a pass from Carroll. Carroll also assisted on the first goal of the game, when she set up Pieczynski at 18:30 of the first half.

With their win on Sunday, the Hawks have now won five straight games and it appears that they just may be ready to take their place amongst the top of the NEC.

At this point in the season, Pieczynski leads the Hawks in goals with five, while Carroll leads the team in points with 11, and Patricia O’Dwyer leads in assists with four.

Figlio believes that all the tools are there for a championship, but in order for them to achieve their goal, the whole team needs to click.

“If we could come together as a team that fights and a team that holds together, then we can really do anything if we put our minds together. We set high goals for ourselves so we hope we will can reach them,” Figlio said.

The team appears to have clicked as of late and they will be looking to continue their winning ways on the road this week when they face off against Deleware on Wednesday and Albany on Sunday.

 Only time will tell if Manziano’s guarantee rings true for the Hawks and if they can finally reach their goal and take home the NEC crown.

For now the Hawks appear to be soaring high and they hope to stay that way for the remainder of the season.