Field hockey stays optimistic as season winds down

The cold dry air and nipping winds couldn’t discourage the Indian River field hockey team in its commanding 5-0 win over Dover. The victory came as a welcome change after the three straight losses the team had suffered, including a conference defeat to Delmar on Sunday, Oct. 22.

Coach Colleen Groszer was pleased with the win. “We’ve worked on transition all season and we came out and did that in the first half.” With the score in her favor, Groszer was able to rotate the girls around, providing playing time for everyone.

Indian River came out strong, putting away four goals against the Dover defense before halftime. On defense, senior captain Courtney Cook held things together with strong help from Jenna McKone, Molly Benner, Heather Whippie and Kara Morris.

McKone has adapted well from her transition at midfield to defense, said Groszer. “She has become such a smart player on the field and does a great job of cutting the ball out and moving it up the sides.”

Goalkeper Abi Buchler sealed the shutout for Indian River.

With only two games left in the season, the team is keeping their focus and staying alert. “They know what we have left of the season. We need these games,” said Groszer, who was optimistic about the postseason. “We want to go all in in the playoffs. I told the team it doesn’t matter what seed we are. If we’re ranked a higher seed, we might have to play a little more.”

Groszer insisted that the team has come a long way from the early losses Indian River suffered in the first three games of the season. “Our record right now doesn’t show the style of play we put out on the field. I’d like to play them now and see a different result. I know we could put some in the cage.”

The team was ready go up against conference rival Seaford on Thursday, after Coastal Point press time. “We really need that win,” said Groszer.

If victorious, the team will improve their record to 9-6, leaving Sunday’s loss to Delmar their only defeat within the conference. Their final season game will come Monday, Oct. 30, at Woodbridge.