Rowan University field hockey is heating up just in time for the final stretch of the season.
After their 1-0 victory against the ranked no. 3 Kean University on Saturday, the Profs jumped up the national ranking for Division III from no. 12 to no. 6. It also extended their win streak to six games in a row.
Rowan opened the season with a mild 2-2 record, but they have only added wins to their record since then. Forward Krystyna Hovell thinks the team has grown a lot interpersonally since early September.
“I definitely think we have such a better chemistry,” Hovell said. “I think coming from not playing field hockey together as a team for a whole year, there [were] a lot of new faces, a lot of unsure… feelings about how the season was gonna go. But we all clicked… I feel like I’ve known these girls for years.”
Head Coach Michelle Andre also sees an improvement in their play.
“The beginning of the season, we were kind of finding our way,” Coach Andre said. “We had a couple weeks… where other teams were playing and starting to gel sooner. And then [we] got stabilized, roles were changed. And now… we’re putting it together on the field.”
Along with their national ranking rising, three Profs, goalie Abby Hainsworth and forwards Kristiina Castagnola and Julia Cavicchio, swept the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) weekly field hockey awards.
“I was really happy for them,” Coach Andre said. “I thought that some of that stuff was past due… It just showed that… It was really a whole team effort in this path, especially this past couple weeks.”
Hovell is also excited to see her teammates be rewarded for their hard work and says she uses it as a force to get an award of her own.
“It makes us more motivated to want to just go out the next game and do even better than the last,” Hovell said. “It definitely is well deserved to every girl… I’m trying to work towards one… It’s hard but I think if you just let your play be and let everything play out… it shows.”
Over the course of their win streak, Rowan has seen wins with six-goal gaps, but also close one-goal matchups against NJAC rivals. Coach Andre believes these kinds of games serve as an early look into what postseason matches may bring.
“[We’re] learning how to win those close games, those one-goal games… We’ve outshot, we’ve had opportunities.” Coach Andre said. “My hope is we’ve learned, as the rest of the season goes, how to take advantage of more of those opportunities.”
As the team enters what Coach Andre dubs the final third of the season, Hovell and her team feel confident going into the final six games on the schedule — one of them being against Arcadia University tonight.
“I feel like if we did not have a six-game winning streak… a lot of different feelings would be spreading around the team,” Hovell said. “I see that we’re on a six-game winning streak, and I’m like, ‘Alright, we can’t stop now.’ I know a lot of people and teams are out there waiting for us to lose… That’s also another reason why our team is so strong.”
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