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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

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Hawks’ season comes to an end

Freshman Luca Scheuten drives the ball down the field during their season ending game against the University of Maryland. PHOTOS COURTESY OF TOM CONNELLY

Field hockey falls in the first round of the NCAA Tournament

The St. Joe’s field hockey team saw a season in which they finished 14th in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Coach’s Poll come to an end on Nov. 15 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament against the University of Maryland (UMD).

Despite the final score, 4-0, Head Coach Lynn Farquhar felt the Hawks and Terrapins played an even game. St. Joe’s even out cornered UMD, a team who has been to the NCAA Tournament Finals the past two seasons, but it was the team from College Park that capitalized on their chances.

“It was solid, solid hockey,” Farquhar said. “After the first goal there wasn’t a change in emotion, but after the second one you could see a tempo change and Maryland fed off of that. We definitely had our moments though. It was there, but in tournament time if you capitalize, the momentum shifts. Maryland is a good program and they fed off of it.”

For the third year in a row, St. Joe’s fell in their first game of the NCAA Tournament. Despite this year having a similar result, Farquhar said the team showed a lot of progress.

“There was a new type of confidence going into tournament time,” Farquhar said. “It was really cool to see the team, their eyes during the game. They were locked in and focused. It was a huge step for our program and I hope we can keep that moving forward.”

For junior forward Jordan Olenginski, the end of this season was tough because it was her last game with the senior class.

“This year was a tough one for me because I had been playing with the senior class for all three of my years here,” Olenginski said. “I think more than the outcomes, we will remember the memories we make with each other both on and off the field.”

Field Hockey was the first team in school history to win three straight conference titles.

The field hockey team’s senior class is one of the most decorated athletic classes in St. Joe’s history, compiling three consecutive national tournament appearances, three consecutive conference championships, a career record of 68-17 and numerous personal awards.

Despite all of that, what stands out most about the group to Farquhar is a decision they made in regards to their senior day.

“I scheduled [University of] Michigan on their senior day and I asked them if that was OK and they said yes and were excited for it,” Farquhar said. “You don’t always have a big group who is so keen for trial. Your senior game is one of those memorable moments and they wanted to face a team they lost to the year before. I think that is mature and speaks on the drive of the group.”

Olenginski acknowledges that her class and the younger classes have big shoes to fill. She feels confident that they have the ability to do so and is thankful for the senior class that led the way this year.

“There is a lot of passion in the class that is leaving,” Olenginski said. “My class and the classes below me will do a good job of carrying that forward. We have to work to keep the culture we have been building the past three years because we have been successful. Remembering that we are playing for something greater than ourselves and keeping that in mind during the everyday grind.”

The Hawks are losing nine players, a group that includes the reigning Atlantic 10 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. Farquhar hopes the underclassmen can learn from the attitude the senior class brought on a day to day basis.

“They really bought into team,” Farquhar said. “They brought and strengthened their own personalities to emphasize team. We have some incredibly passionate players who drive with their intensity. There are others who learn the game and use their voice. We had others who could step back and guide. The biggest asset is they all learned to be themselves and give to a group and that is something our younger hopefully absorbed and will carry on.”

For Olenginski, the continued success of the program is a testament to the work the team puts in on and off the field.

“It attests to how hard we work,” Olenginski said. “When I committed to the program we were like 60th in the country or something like that. So to watch this program shape into what it is now, it is really cool to be a part of making history.”

Senior back Kathrin Bentz said the team’s success can be boiled down to their basic belief system.

“I think it just shows what this program is all about,” Bentz said. “When we got here, we focused on our basics, which is I.P.A.; which means intentioned positive actions, team first and 100% effort. Our goal is to be a Hawk and that means to be greater. Being able to repeat this three years in a row shows it isn’t a one year thing, this program is moving and developing.”

Farquhar said she thinks even though the continued success of the program breeds lofty expectations, the team will be able to turn that pressure into a positive.

“Every year we have grown and there has been a different level of standards and expectations,” Farquhar said. “That is fair. Will it be pressure? I think in any environment where you understand your potential, It will bring good pressure. It brings a certain intensity and confidence, some people might call it pressure, but all that it means is you have to perform in the moment.”

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