by Sean Sanbeg
SC Sports Editor
With only a handful of games left, the ESU Warriors field hockey team prepares for the end of another season. For senior captains Lauren Ventrella (forward) and Jessie Bachman (defensive back), they’re also preparing for the end of their college careers.
“Sports have kind of become our lives, so it’s always fun,” Ventrella said. “It’s really starting to hit me that it’s almost over.”
Ventrella and Bachman have both played field hockey for nine years. With a 6-10 overall record and a 1-7 conference record for the Warriors’ field hockey team this year, their careers will likely end with the conclusion of the regular season.
“There are always adult leagues you can do, so I might do that,” Bachman said. “I’d still play for fun, but I don’t see myself pursuing field hockey after college.”
Ventrella expressed a similar outlook.
“Last year, I was named to the All-PSAC East second team, so hopefully I’ll be named to the first team this year. Other than that, I might go to Graduate school here and become a grad assistant, but I’m not sure yet,” Ventrella said.
Ventrella had a noteworthy season thus far. She produced nine goals and five assists totaling 23 points with 40 shots on goal. The nine goals match her career single-season goal record, and there are still a few games remaining in the season.
“Last year was my first year as a starter, so I was happy with my nine goals. I’m there now, so I’m really hoping to get above that in the next few games,” Ventrella said.
Bachman has one assist this season, coming in a game against Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“Sometimes I’d like to score goals, but I’m defensively minded. It’s all guts, no glory back there,” Bachman said.
Ventrella started her career as a defender but eventually settled on offense.
“I’m fast and I like my space. We run drills at practice where we switch our positions. I don’t like defense very much,” Ventrella said.
Playing for the Warriors field hockey team means more this year given their titles as captain. They were able to demonstrate their leadership both on and off the field.
“You can’t really hang your head anymore. We’re not allowed to have bad days,” Ventrella said.
“This means always staying positive, being a leader, and trying to pump everyone up before games. The team can also address certain issues with us without going to the coach,” Bachman said.
“Plus, there’s always a speaking captain [during games], so we switch on and off. We can talk to the refs about calls and have them clarify rules,” Ventrella added.
According to the two captains, the team saw improvement over the course of the season. There were a number of key losses between seasons, including midfielder Amanda McGuire, defensive back Michelle Tewell and three-year starting goalkeeper Maureen Ordnung. All three players were All-PSAC East second team members.
“We’ve improved from the start of the season. Our passing improved and our team chemistry is good. We had a really good offensive team this year. Offense is all about having numbers up, and we usually got numbers up with our fast breaks,” Ventrella said.
“We also had a really good relationship with our coaching staff,” Bachman said. “They put their best effort forward to try to improve the team. They love their jobs.”
While there’s no doubt that Ventrella and Bachman both love their sport, spending their second consecutive season below .500 came with some highs and lows.
“Having a lead and then losing was never fun. We’d slip into a defensive mode in the second half and watch it slip away. I almost felt like when we got that 4th goal, we were good. But win or loss, I still enjoyed playing,” Bachman said.
“The Stonehill game was crazy though. We won 7-6 in overtime. Scores don’t usually go that high. I’m really proud of that win,” Ventrella said.
ESU’s victory over Stonehill was the first time in program history that both teams scored at least six goals in the same game. It was only the third game in which both teams scored at least five goals in over 900 games.
The Warriors’ season concludes at home against Millersville on Saturday at 1:00 PM.
“I feel a lot more confident at our home games, especially coming into our last game. I like that it’s at home,” Bachman said.
Ventrella and Bachman look to finish their season, and possibly their careers, on a positive note.
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