By Ronald Hanaki
On Sunday, Sept. 6, senior forward Ally Roth scored two goals against Long Island’s Adelphi University to give her a total of 57 career goals scored at ESU.
In so doing, Roth surpassed Ashley Kocis (2003-2006) to become ESU field hockey’s career leader in totals goals scored.
Speaking of her fifty-seventh career goal, Roth said, “When the (penalty) stroke was called, I knew I could put it away because I have been practicing all summer.”
Now entering her thirty-second season as head coach of the field hockey team, Coach Sandy Miller has seen many players come through her program.
Coach Miller said, “Ally Roth is an intense young lady who demands a lot from herself.”
“She has really good game sense,” continued Coach Miller. “She played hockey, basketball, and softball in high school.”
“I like athletes that play more than one sport because they can combine more than one sport and become successful. It is one of the many reasons why she is so strong here.”
Coach Miller continued to praise Roth. “Ally has a knack for where her teammates are and where the goal cage is. Her awareness is very strong. She is also a competitor who will tackle back and dive if she needs to,” said Coach Miller.
“Ally is the first one to get to practice, and the last one to leave,” said Coach Miller. “It’s something we stress with our athletes – the little things. Ally can also set up her teammates.”
Coach Miller said, “Ally is a coach’s dream out there. I can’t say enough good things about her. She is very coachable.”
Roth tells how she first got into field hockey, stating, “In the sixth grade, my teacher was the head coach of field hockey. She told me that I had to get out there because I was a basketball player and a softball player. So I needed to try field hockey.”
Roth fell in love with field hockey, and it quickly became her favorite sport.
At Pocono Mountain East High School, Roth was a highly touted field hockey prospect. Roth was planning on attending another school, but Coach Miller kept bugging her to consider ESU.
Roth ended up visiting ESU where former ESU field hockey player Brielle Kessel, who now teaches health and physical education at J.M. Hill Elementary School, gave Roth a tour of the campus and took her out to lunch. Coach Miller chatted with Roth about the field hockey program and what ESU had to offer her. That sealed the deal.
Recalling her visit to ESU, Roth said, “Basically, I got a tour and liked the campus a lot more than I originally thought. I don’t regret my decision at all.”
The field hockey team is currently 3-1 and is now ranked fourth in the NFHCA (National Field Hockey Coaches Association). Reflecting on her team, Coach Miller said, “We lost six seniors from last season, but we had a good spring. We worked hard in the summer. We focused on our conditioning and ball control.”
“We had nine good freshman that came into the program. It is a quality freshman class. The program is moving in the right direction. Our players and coaching staff will outwork our opponents,” said Coach Miller.
In order to motivate her team, Coach Miller gave her team a book to read over the summer called The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. Of the book, Roth said, “I definitely love the second rule from the book. Desire, vision, and focus move your bus in the right direction.” The bus is a metaphor for the team.
“If you don’t have the mindset to reach a goal, you’re never going to reach it,” added Roth.
Roth said, “We are a close-knit group. We work well together. We all have each others’ backs. That is the main thing – that we have each others’ backs, and we always do.”
Roth’s teammate and new president of SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) Emily Howell said, “Ally is very humble and modest about her accomplishments. She has your back on and off the field.”
Howell added, “I’m happy for her. That (scoring the most goals in ESU field hockey history) is a huge accomplishment.”
At the top of the team goals are to win a PSAC championship and to qualify for the NCAA national championships. Other goals include posting a minimum of six shutouts, scoring at least three goals per game, and getting six corners per half. The team would also like to maintain a 3.4 GPA.
Off the field, Roth is an exercise science major with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. She would eventually like to attend physical therapy school.
“Eventually, I would love to be a field hockey coach and be a physical therapist, as well. I love the field that I am going into,” said Roth.
Roth said, “Dr. Shala Davis is my adviser, and she has been a tremendous help. Dr. Davis and Professor Munford were there when I scored those goals to break the record.”
Roth added, “I would like to meet (the previous career goal-scoring leader) Ashley Kocis.”
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