Rowan University field hockey’s run to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Division III Championship Tournament came to an end last Saturday, Nov. 20, when they lost against undefeated Middlebury College in the semifinals 4-1.
Their loss in the tournament ended their season. While disappointed in the results of the game against Middlebury, senior Co-Captain Molly Gorczyca is happy with all that they were able to accomplish.
“It was a great season, you know, winning the NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference], getting into the Final Four,” Gorczyca said. “It was a really good season.”
No season is perfect and Head Coach Michelle Andre knows that but it was a season full of perseverance that culminated in results everyone can be satisfied with.
“I can’t be disappointed in where we ended up for not playing for a year and not having any outside competition for a year,” Coach Andre said. “We had some hiccups along the way throughout the season. But we accomplished a lot. It was an overall successful season knowing what an experience [it was] for our younger players, knowing that they know what it takes to be there and to win it.”
It seems like forever since the season-opener on Sept. 2 when they beat Ursinus College 7-4. There was an environment of unknowns entering that first game after the COVID-19 pandemic took away their entire prior season. But to make it as far as the end of November fulfilled everything Gorzyca and her teammates wanted.
“We set a goal at the beginning of the season: we’re going to outlast as many teams as we can. We’re going to be smart with everything. We want this season,” Gorczyca said. “Looking back on what we did as a team to ensure that we had this season was just a very satisfying feeling.”
This season, which almost didn’t occur, saw several accomplishments from the Profs, including a six-game shutout streak and a 16-game winning streak. Many members of the team picked up individual honors, with Gorzyca herself picking up an end-of-season honor after being named to the National Field Hockey Association’s Division III All-Region team as a top defender.
The defense played a major role in Rowan’s successes this year, and Gorczyca was a vital piece of that unit, but no team can truly find success in only one aspect of the game.
“I mean, we all worked really hard. It’s really satisfying to put in the work at practice to try to get better and seeing the results in the game. We had a great goalkeeper and great people pushing us the entire time,” Gorzyca said. “As the season goes on, we’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re a brick wall, blah, blah, blah,’ all that fun stuff. But it all stems from the entire team, with offense going against us and making us better, and vice versa.”
This season is now over but the next field hockey season will come quickly. However, for now, Coach Andre, and those who love Rowan field hockey, will cherish the passion and camaraderie the team brought this year.
“There wasn’t a day that I didn’t want to be at practice with them,” Coach Andre said. “They were the best part of my day, and they’re truly talented. But the one thing I loved about them is they were team first… they banded together and made the team a priority.”
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