After a one-win season, the Stephen Decatur field hockey team is looking to change plenty of things about the program.
It has started with the new motto: stay low, stay positive.
Consistently losing last year, brought the team morale low and this year’s group of players want to change that.
“Our motto this year is stay low, stay positive,” Sara Mitrecic said. “That’s definitely what we need to work on. We’re definitely working on pushing it up more and then controlling the ball.”
The hope for the Seahawks is to string a few wins together in a tough Bayside conference, pulling more support from fans and students and creating an excitement for field hockey.
To do that, it’s been about the fundamentals for second-year head coach Amy Matthews.
“I think we can improve a lot,” Matthews said. “We have a lot to work on but we’ve seen improvement already. I’ve seen girls from last year improve a whole lot. We’re excited about that.”
To get closer to .500, the Seahawks will lean on Mitrecic, Olivia Kurtz, Logan Figgs and Sophia Clemente.
“Those four girls, they were all on varsity last year,” Matthews said. “They have a good sense of just how to play with varsity. They have a good attitudes.”
Mitrecic is a midfielder along with Figgs, who Matthews can count on to move the ball from defense to the fowards.
The focus will be to possess the ball more this year instead of just whacking it up field to the team’s biggest goal-scoring threat, Kurtz.
“She kind of leads the front line,” Matthews said. “She tells everybody where to go and how to be when the ball comes to them. We can always count on her to know her position and mark up.”
Positioning and aggression are the two things Kurtz has been preaching this preseason.
To see some wins, they will have to pull those things together.
“If we really work on positioning, I feel like we’ll get there,” she said.
The player who will keep Decatur in games stands in the cage.
Clemente made save after save in Decatur’s lop-sided scrimmage last to Indian River.
But her athleticism showed as she kept the score tight in the first half.
“She’s our backbone of the team,” Matthews said. “She makes amazing saves.”
If the Seahawks get the momentum going this season, they hope it spreads so that girls start coming out for field hockey prior to sophomore year.
Kurtz, who is from Pocomoke, has been playing since sixth grade.
Matthews said girls in Delmar start playing so young, but around here they don’t.
“There’s not as many field hockey programs available,” Matthews said. “There’s a couple but, with Delmar, they start so young and that’s one thing I wish we would do here.”
A few wins will certainly draw some eyes.
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