By Andrea Wiegman
Special to GoHolyCross.com
The Holy Cross field hockey team is warming up for an exciting 2012 season as it welcomes back 13 players, three of which are seniors, and adds six newcomers to the team. Co-captains senior Megan Bourne (Lake Forest, Ill.) and junior Kelly Burke (Walpole, Mass.) will lead the Crusaders. Strong senior leadership will also come from Kelly Sotsky (Wayne, N.J.) and Emily Allen (Lee, N.H.). The team also welcomes back junior Lindsay MacPhail (Goffstown, N.H.), who was recently named to the preseason All-Patriot League team.
The Crusaders will start their season by hosting Quinnipiac on Friday, Aug. 24 at 11:00 a.m. They will then travel to Harvard on Saturday Sept. 1 for a 1:00 p.m. game.
Head Coach Zowie Tucker, who is in her third season at Holy Cross, is excited about the upcoming season and answered a few questions for us.
GoHolyCross: What is the atmosphere like on the field, as the team gets ready to start the 2012 season?
Tucker: The atmosphere has been very positive throughout preseason and each player has made a commitment to work hard and make the necessary changes needed to be successful. Every player has been competitive and demanding more from each other on a daily basis. We have a wonderful group of young women that really enjoy each other so the atmosphere is very welcoming.
GoHolyCross: How do you see the team developing from last spring season to where you are now in preseason?
Tucker: The team has gained a wealth of knowledge tactically and technically in the off-season. They have improved skills and decision-making on the field in competitive situations and are able to execute in key moments more efficiently. This has been a driving point throughout preseason in developing our ball movement and finishing skills.
GoHolyCross: In the spring you brought on Maryette Stuart as an assistant coach. What has she brought to the Holy Cross program?
Tucker: Maryette's energy and passion for the game has been very evident from day one. Her work ethic translates into her coaching style and she communicates the commitment needed for the next level very well to our players. Her attention to detail on defense enables our players to understand their roles and responsibilities very well.
GoHolyCross: What is the leadership on the team like?
Tucker: We communicate to all our athletes that they have a leadership role as student-athletes, but we rely on our captains Megan Bourne and Kelly Burke to bring the consistency we need for success. They lead by example on a daily basis and foster a positive environment within the team. They are constantly encouraging their teammates and do a good job communicating with the coaching staff. They are very well respected because they lead by example and are exceptionally driven to make a difference.
GoHolyCross: You've added six freshmen this year. How have they adjusted to practicing at a collegiate level?
Tucker: The freshmen have adjusted very well to collegiate field hockey and have adapted well to the next level. They are all very good students of the game and welcome challenges on the field.
GoHolyCross: What are you hoping to see from your team this year?
Tucker: We hope that they continue to work hard and remain in the mind-set of believing and trusting in their preparation to get the results they deserve. To stay positive and committed in times of adversity and to control what they can control. We hope that they are consistent in their performances and give 100% to the task at hand.
GoHolyCross: What should be your athletes top priority right now?
Tucker: The priority right now is to take one day at a time and focus on the details when in the moment. Continue to be competitive and be problem solvers so that we are able to make better decisions under pressure and have the ability to execute in key moments.