Field hockey defeats Ravens

Gaels beat Carleton 4-0, lose to York 1-0

The Queen’s field hockey team beat the Carleton Ravens 4-0 in Waterloo on Sunday.
The Queen’s field hockey team beat the Carleton Ravens 4-0 in Waterloo on Sunday.
Supplied Photo By Kirsten Jewell

Queen’s women’s field hockey team opened their season with mixed results from a doubleheader at Waterloo last weekend.

The Gaels, who finished third in the OUA last season, lost a close game on Saturday 1-0 to the York Lions, last year’s OUA silver medalists. The Gaels rebounded on Sunday with a 4-0 defeat of Carleton. Hilary Piets scored twice for the Gaels, while Emily Newton and Kristen Jewell added single goals.

Jewell said the Gaels’ new players did well on Sunday.

“A lot of our rookies had really amazing games, and earned a spot in our starting lineup,” she said.

Piets said the Gaels were more composed as a team against Carleton.

“Sunday was a better game for us, because we sort of had to practice [playing] as a team and settle into our positions better. We started working more together, got our passes going.”

Head coach Sean Smith said the weekend was a good start for his team.

“We came together very well,” he said. “The first game against York was a very tough game. We stuck together very well, and we lost 1-0, a very close loss.”

Smith said the team’s play improved significantly in Sunday’s game.

“We were playing a lot better,” he said. “We dictated the pace of the play, rather than letting them dictate the play.”

The team is playing mostly on field turf surfaces this year, rather than the Astroturf they’ve used in previous years. Smith said adjusting to the new surface is difficult for the team.

“It’s a lot slower, so you really have to concentrate on hitting the ball and more upright tackling instead of sliding,” he said. “It’s quite tough, because a lot of the basic skills that we’ve got from previous years and the skills we’ve worked on in practice actually don’t work on the new turf. The girls have done a very good job, though.”

This is Smith’s first year as the team’s head coach. He previously spent one season with the team as a volunteer coach, and two as a full-time assistant coach.

Smith said the new role is a significant change for him.

“It’s a lot more work, but it’s a lot of fun. I’m really enjoying it.”

The team will travel to Toronto for three games this weekend. Smith said the quality of their opposition will range significantly.

“We’re playing Toronto, which will be a very tough game; McGill, which should be an easier game; and Western, which should be a medium game,” he said. “It should be a tough weekend, especially the Toronto game.”

Toronto won the OUA championship last year and finished third at the nationals.

The games take place at Lamport Stadium, which features old-style Astroturf. Smith said shifting back and forth between surfaces is challenging for the team.

“It’s kind of tough, because we’re playing on two different types of surfaces, but if we play like we did last weekend, it should work out really well.”

Smith said the team hopes to repeat or improve on its performance from last year.

“I definitely envision [making the] top three. Last year, we got bronze in the OUA. I would expect to finish top three, for sure.”

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