Gettysburg Bullets begin new field hockey season
By Emily Sheehan, Staff Writer and Elizabeth Hilfrank, Sports Editor
The Gettysburg College Field Hockey team arrived back to campus Sunday, Aug. 21, and is ready to work toward another successful season.
Last year’s season ended with a win against top-ranked Johns Hopkins University, and the Bullets hope to start this season off with that same momentum.
“We are really excited about the season,” said head coach Barb Jordan. “The team has been working really hard this preseason. We hope to keep the momentum going as classes start back up and our main goal is to get our program back into the conference tournament.”
Coach Jordan returns for her fifteenth season as head coach of the Bullets field hockey team, and she leads the program with the most amount of career wins ever at a winning percentage of .565. She is one of only four Gettysburg coaches to ever exceed 100 career wins at 143. A member of the United States women’s lacrosse team from 1982-1989 and a Beth Allen Award winner in 1992, Coach Jordan brings a lot of experience and knowledge to the field.
Backed by six-year assistant coach Ashley Mowery, the two have created a relationship that is sure to bring success. Mowery was a field hockey sensation at her alma mater, Messiah College, where she was able to play in the NCAA Division III Final Four tournament for three of her four collegiate years.
The Lady Bullets’ 2015 season ended with a Centennial Conference record of 46 and 89 overall. While the team missed the Centennial Conference tournament, they were still able to end the season with a win. This year, the team comes backed by several returning players. Senior captain Nina Diamond will take her place on the defensive end one last time with junior Haley Mowery in the cage.
Mowery ranks third in conference for save percentage, coming in at .756. She also holds second place for saves with 130, and eighth in goals-against average at 2.60.
Not only will the defensive side see a strong return of players, but also the offensive will also not be lacking in support. Senior Hannah Fitzgerald will make her final debut on the field as a forward this season. With seven assists last season, Fitzgerald ranks tenth in the Conference on the assisting end. She also is a leader for total shots on net, placing ninth with 57, right behind senior captain Samantha Wright at 60.
While returning talent always brings reassurance to the team, some new, motivated members will be sure to enhance the Bullets’ performance. Four first-years joined the team this year, splitting half offensive and half defensive.
First-year Julia Soares will help as a midfielder and forward, with first-year forward Sarah McGowan also by her side. First-year Sam Nicol will alternate between the midfield and defensive side, with first-year Jillian Caputo fighting for time in the goal.
The team hopes for a fusion of teammates that will bring great success for the fall season.
“Our goals for this season are to work together as a team to be a cohesive unit and to get to the Centennial Conference Championships,” said junior midfielder/defender Philippa Lumsden.
The Bullets have not taken the Conference title since 2001, when they beat the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 2-1. While they have appeared in championships since then, they want the title now.
With a plethora of returning players, as well as new talent coming from incoming girls, the team is in line for a winning season. As the program continues to grow, the Bullets hope to be strong contenders for a spot in the conference tournament with a winning record by their side.
The field hockey team will take the home field for their first game on Saturday, September 3rd at 5PM against DeSales University.