UR Field Hockey (URFH) defeated Geneseo on Friday and Utica College on Sunday to finish the season with a 16–3 record. Junior Olivia Denny scored against Utica, and scored the first goal in a 3–0 shutout against St. Lawrence University last Sunday. Denny has been a consistent contributor for the Yellowjackets, who will face William Smith College in the Liberty League semifinals on Wednesday.
What do you love about field hockey?
Of all the sports I have played in my athletic career, field hockey has by far taken the most grit and passion to be successful. There are always so many emotions flying around the field, and there is no question that each girl would do anything to score the winning goal or be there for her teammate. It is a game that requires the heart and desire to not only do better for yourself and your team, but the will to be better than each opponent.
Have you played any other sports?
In high school I played basketball and softball, along with field hockey. At one point I considered playing softball in college, but by the time my senior year came around I realized that field hockey was the one sport I could not imagine not playing the next four years.
How do you balance sports and academics?
I actually find it easier to stay focused on my school work while in season. Most days it feels like there are not enough hours in the day, but this requires a very focused and productive work ethic while there is time to study. I have found it most important to make the best of the time we have to study and to confide in teammates as we are all in the same position.
What do you value about your teammates?
This year’s team is unlike any I have played on before. We have such great team chemistry and I feel that I could count on any member to have my back in a game or off the field. This team is a support system like no other. No matter what you are going through, there is always someone there who is willing to pick you up and carry you on their back (sometimes literally).
What is your greatest accomplishment as an athlete?
My greatest accomplishment thus far in my career I would have to attribute to our team making it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament this past year. It was an amazing experience being able to represent the University at such a high level of play while having a great time with my closest friends at UR.
What has been the team’s greatest accomplishment this season?
So far this season, I think our biggest moment was beating William Smith 3–0 on Fauver after coming off two losses. We were well due for a win, and we picked ourselves back up by beating another nationally ranked team in the Liberty League. This was a game where on the field we played as one unit and felt each and every moment together. In addition, we were also able to reach a time where we were ranked number nine in the nation by the NFHCA Coaches poll. This was the highest ranked a URFH team has ever been.
What strategies does the team employ to rebound from a loss?
This team does a great job of letting a loss fuel our energy to win the next game. I think this season, more than any other I have been a part of, we have not dwelled on our losses. A post-game discussion to use the loss as a learning experience is the most that is spoken of the downfalls of the game. We immediately put our attention on the next game, using the loss as emotion to drive us to success.
What are your personal and team goals for the season?
Personally, I wanted to find myself as an integral part of our program and the team’s success this season. Considering the new talent of the freshmen class and the solid group of returns we have, I hope to win the Liberty League Championship as a team this year. This would make us the only UR field hockey team to achieve this longtime goal of the program.
If you could have a lifetime supply of one food, what would it be?
Definitely fresh asparagus; it’s perfect with every meal!