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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Field hockey freshman becomes key player

Patton has played an integral role in the team’s 4-1 start and No. 14 national ranking. PHOTO: COURTESY OF SJU ATHLETICS

St. Joe’s field hockey has come out strong in the early season with help from freshman midfielder Kacie Patton.

Patton is tied for second in goals with two and has four points in her first five games on Hawk Hill. She also racked up an Atlantic 10 Co-Rookie of the Week honor for her performance in the team’s victory over No. 19 Rutgers University.

Junior forward Jordan Olenginski thinks the team’s winning culture makes it easier for a freshman like Patton to excel.

“I think our team culture in general makes people be their best,” Olenginski said. “That is what Kacie has done all season and everytime she has stepped on the field she has given 100% effort.”

Prior to coming to St. Joe’s, Patton won two U19 National Hockey Festival championships. Patton said she believes her smooth transition is due to the atmosphere surrounding St. Joe’s program.

“It is definitely the team’s culture, our Hawk habits,” Patton said. “It is about pushing everyone, being there for one another. I could not have had those goals without the team.”

Freshman midfielder Katy Benton said Patton has good skill out on the field and a relentless drive.

“On the field she is always looking for the goalie rebound to tip the ball in,” Benton said. “She is always open at the top of the circle and has a beautiful hit to score goals.”

Patton has played internationally as well, representing the U.S. on the U16 Junior National Indoor Team in 2013 and in the National Futures Championship in 2015. Despite the accolades, Patton’s passion for field hockey comes simply from being a part of a team.

“What motivates me to play field hockey is the team aspect,” Patton said. “It is competitive and I am a very competitive person. I love how the team is one big family and I love playing the game.”

Olenginski said Patton’s work ethic has contributed to her success on the field this season.

“Usually freshman come in and are timid on the field and afraid to make mistakes,” Olenginski said. “She is not afraid of the field. She can play to her strengths and help us out as a team. That has contributed to her success so far.”

Patton said that it is important to keep the right frame of mind as a freshman student athlete.

“It is a lot different than high school,” Patton said. “It is important to be on top of things and doing things ahead of time,” Patton said. “I have to make sure my head is in the right mentality between school and field hockey.”

Patton said her goals include gaining success for herself and for her team.

“To bring the best qualities that can help the team every single day, the best I can all the time,” Patton said. “[The team] just needs to play like how we play.”

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