The Rowan field hockey team is considered the favorite to be the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) champions for a second consecutive year.
Ranked third in the nation by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and launching their campaign with a roaring 3-0 start, expectations are high for the young Profs.
Fifth-year head coach Michelle Andre believes it is a Rowan core value to live up to and exceed these predictions.
“These expectations are always part of the program when you come to Rowan,” Andre said.
Andre undoubtedly understands the pressure the team will undergo throughout the season, however, she indicated that the girls both ignore and thrive under it.
“If you can perform under pressure, you can perform at any time,” Andre said. “And that is what we usually do.”
Satisfied with the team’s explosive start on the offense and content with the defensive work, Andre affirms that there is work to be done.
“There is always room for improvement. We are exactly where I thought we were going to be and we will only get better from there. I can’t complain when you are 3-0 and scored as many goals as we have.”
They’ve outscored their opponents 12-7 through three games.
The team’s unbeaten streak can be credited in part to sophomore Krystyna Hovell’s consistent breakthrough performance.
After an impressive rookie season capped with 13 goals, eight assists and an NJAC Rookie of the Week award, Hovell continued her remarkable form over the weekend. Her hat-trick against Catholic University, scoring three successive goals, allowed the Brown and Gold to coast to a 3-1 victory.
As Hovell comfortably settles into her second year, her production has been notable, compiling seven total goals in just three games. When asked what sparked this transition, Hovell stated that she was committed to improving her all-around game and that her focus on intensive training, specifically her strength, during the six-month offseason is what enable her to smoothly make this transition.
As Hovell’s promising start to her season continues, she certainly expects to sustain this level of production throughout the entire year.
“I am hoping to outshine my goals from last year and make a big difference,” Hovell said.
She also acknowledges that chemistry has been a major factor to the team’s early success. With essentially a brand-new team, including 13 freshmen, the young core maintains their chemistry by enjoying their time together.
“We are all so young… it really helps that we do outside activities, such as eating dinner and hanging out together just to keep that bond that helps us play well out there on the field,” Hovell said.
For the 2019-2020 season, Hovell assures that the team’s expected goals are larger than her own personal ones.
“I think we are expecting to go to the NCAA tournament again and bring the trophy home this time,” Howell said.
And she meant it.
The Profs look to extend their winning streak when they kick off a five-game home stand against Cabrini University on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
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