BILLY WOODS | Reporter
For a youthful roster that includes 11 freshmen and sophomores in its total of 19 players, the energy and focus are high this season, the head field hockey coach said.
“We do have a young team in terms of collegiate experience, but we have some very talented young players that will be big contributors on the field for us,” Head Coach Sarah Baumann said.
Last season, the Lions finished with a 12-3 record overall and forward Bridget Hoogendijk lead the pack with 42 total points.
As a senior, Hoogendijk’s leadership is a positive for the young roster, but Baumann said she looks beyond class when determining playing time and leadership roles.
“While we always want to build off our previous successes, each season is very different. You have new teammates, new leaders stepping up, new opponents,” Baumann said. “One of the constants that has helped us find success the last three seasons has been our work ethic, team culture, and fitness level.”
The university’s move to the GLVC will not affect the field hockey program, as the new conference does not have a field hockey program.
Baumann praised the team members for their respect for each other and coaches. During Baumann’s tenure at Lindenwood, she said she has striven to create a strong team culture that includes being able to share in the successes of one another, not only on the field, but also off the field.
Players on the team spent the summer individually training for the season.
“There truly is not an off-season from training as a college athlete,” Baumann said. “Before summer, in spring we do a lot of individual skill work, conditioning, and strength training for players to carry over into summer when they are back home.”
The Lions will compete in a two-game road trip to Adelphi University in New York on Friday and Mercy College on Sunday, before returning to Hunter Stadium Sept 13 for their first home game of the season vs Frostburg State University in New Jersey.