This time last year, UR’s club field hockey team was celebrating qualifying for the New York State Club Field Hockey League championship tournament; this year, they won the whole thing.
“We were so pumped to make it to the championships,” shared club co-president and senior Hanna Felber. “That is not really something we expected to do at the start of the season — our goal for the semester has never been to win it all, just take it game by game and enjoy the ride.”
According to Felber, enjoying the ride is what led the team to have such a successful season. From team bonding at Niagara Falls to tense shootouts after double overtime, the team has come together to win every time, leading to their undefeated season.
The team’s record is even more impressive considering that they are entirely student-run. Co-captains and juniors Megan Del Regno and Lily Stolberg run practices and manage lineups.
“They’re the best,” Felber said. “They really stress equal playing time and create an environment where everyone’s input is taken into consideration.”
This environment is what allowed the championship tournament to happen at all. The school meant to host the tournament canceled a few days before it started, leaving the team unsure if they would be able to play at all. It took some last-minute planning, but the team made it happen.
“It was a quick pivot,” Felber shared. “But within that week, we were able to organize the entire event, which included booking field spaces, confirming with other teams, booking refs, and more.”
After a few hard rounds of play, the season was over, and the team found themselves holding the trophy — a symbol of all the work they had put in. The team, being a club, welcomes any level of experience, and prioritizes having fun and trying their best over winning, although the latter is a nice bonus.
“I think that’s why we do so well,” Felber shared. “We are all friends and have fun together off the field and it really translates when we play.”
Next season, the team is looking to possibly expand their horizons into competing in new tournaments and to remain a close-knit group. Most of all, they will continue working hard to try to maintain the mentality that led them to this year’s win, one that will hopefully lead to another.