SLU Field Hockey Looking to Improve on Losing Season


Photo courtesy of Billiken Athletics

The Saint Louis Field Hockey program has had a rough year, to put it lightly. Graduating seven seniors last year inevitably shakes up a team dynamic, and with a current 0-11 record, things are definitely shook.

   The Bills have not had a winning season since 1990, and have not had a record above .500 since 2006. Now in 2019, the Bills are on pace for another losing season.

   With all losses on the board, it is hard to see what the Bills are doing well. Over the years, the Bills have been improving, but so have the other A-10 teams. That said, there are still milestones the Bills have hit, like scoring for the first time against Saint Joseph’s since 2014. Junior back Erin McClelland scored her first career goal off a corner in the 1-7 loss, tying her for the most points on the team. 

Other goal scorers for the Billikens include freshman Grace Golembiewski, Edie Carnazzo and Megan Rice, as well as sophomore midfielder Emily Wastell. The Bills have recorded two assists on the season from junior forward Mica Diaz and sophomore back Kayleigh Fleming, each with one assist.

   SLU field hockey has had a rough past and part of that comes from the geography. With the Cardinals and a new MLS team on the way, it is clear to see that St. Louis is a big soccer and baseball town—field hockey, not so much. But on the East Coast, field hockey is a big sport. Almost all the top 10 college teams are East Coast schools and SLU plays in the Atlantic 10. 

   Here is a quick geography lesson for everyone. The Atlantic Ocean is located on the eastern coast of the United States. SLU plays almost exclusively eastern teams with a stronger field hockey culture than the midwest.

   Although SLU is in a rough spot right now, there is one thing that will shape up for the Bills. The 2019 team has said the team chemistry and culture has grown stronger this year. The next great part of this is that there are currently no seniors. While that can be a detriment to a team, it means that the junior class has two years of team leadership. This junior class has been a staple in the Billiken roster the past two seasons and adds leadership to the program.

   Another Billiken staple is sophomore goalkeeper Sasha Sander. With two more seasons left, Sander’s leadership and potential are a strong outlook for future teams. 

   Ultimately, Billiken offensive output needs to increase. With only 29 shots in the season so far, the Bills are unable to produce chances. The more shots on net, the more likely a lucky goal is to slip through. Though getting into position against strong opponents may be difficult, taking more awkward shots could boost lethality in front of net.

   Field hockey has three games coming up against Davidson, Appalachian State and Longwood. Their conference game against Davidson on Friday, Oct. 18, will be a good clash for the Bills as they take on the penultimate team in the A-10.