Erin Conrad had a year of eligibility remaining and decided to return to the University of Louisville field hockey team this fall. Coach Justine Sowry is glad she did.
Conrad (Meyers) has helped the Cardinals jump out to a 4-2 record with her stellar play in the goal. She has given up 10 goals and has 29 saves and a shutout. The only losses were 3-2 to Northeastern and 3-2 in overtime to Indiana last Saturday. She bounced back from that Indiana setback to lead the team to a 2-1 victory over Ohio University Sunday.
"Erin decided to return because she knew she could help this team regardless of winning a championship or not," coach Justine Sowry said. "This speaks volumes for how far she has grown as a person and a leader for our program."
Conrad earned Big East Conference second team honors two years in a row after posting a combined 23-16 record with 11 shutouts. She entered this season having given up 66 goals and recording 167 saves. Her 1.51 goals against average last season were 11th best in Division I.
"Erin has matured and continues to lead a young group of players in front of her through a challenging month of preparation, practice and games. Her performances so far have reflected on her mental toughness and competitive pride that is installed in her."
The Cardinals meet Central Michigan in the first round of the Michigan State Tournament Friday in East Lansing.
FROSH DUO HELPS EAGLES – Freshmen Ashleigh Sebia and Kelcie Hromisin are seeing plenty of action with the Boston College field hockey team this fall.
Sebia, from Plains Twp. (Wyoming Seminary), scored her first collegiate goal in a 3-0 triumph over Harvard last Sunday. Hromisin (Wyoming Valley West) is showing the same tenacity that she showed during her high school days.
"Our goal is to recruit players who are going to step onto the field and play for us and certainly Ashleigh and Kelcie are doing just that," coach Ainslee Lamb said.
The coach wasn't sure where Sebia would play early in practice.
"She made it really clear that she wanted to compete for a spot on the forward line," Lamb said. "We have supported that and it has really made a difference in our ability to press and put some goals in the net."
The coach likes Hromisin's work ethic.
"Kelcie is very tenacious," Lamb said. "She keeps fighting and fighting. Not only is she performing on the field during games, but she is really making a difference in our preparation in practice."
The Eagles, ranked 17th in the country, are 4-2 after the victory over Harvard.
BIG EFFORT FOR JAYNE – The Lycoming football team upset Delaware Valley 24-14 last Saturday and senior defensive end Roger Jayne (Lake-Lehman) was a key performer for the Warriors. Delaware Valley was the preseason pick to win the Middle Atlantic Conference.
Jayne, a 5-foot-11, 255-pounder, had just two tackles but he blocked a field goal try in the third quarter that helped keep his team ahead.
Coach Mike Clark is hoping that Jayne keeps it going.
"Roger is a returning All-MAC player and we need him to take the next step," the coach said. "We need him to have the type of year we are expecting."
Actually, Jayne is a two-time All-MAC second team performer and entered this season with 79 tackles, five sacks and three fumble recoveries. He also had two tackles in Lycoming's opening-season 24-2 loss to Brockport.
The Warriors meet Lebanon Valley in a home game Saturday in Williamsport.
GOAL FOR DESSOYE – Freshman Anna Dessoye (Crestwood) picked up her first collegiate goal to help the Maryland field hockey team defeat Ohio State. She came back with two goals in a 5-0 victory over Massachusetts. The Terps, ranked third in the nation, are 5-1 with three shutouts.
"Anna comes to a top-level field hockey program with well-defined technical skills and a deep passion for competition," coach Missy Meharg said. "She is a flexible player (position-wise) and thrives in tight pressure."
Dessoye also has something to live up to. She wears No. 17 on her uniform.
"That's the number worn by two former greats – Sara Silvetti (an alternate on the 2008 Olympic team) and Carissa Messimer (an All-American and an NCAA Champion). It shows the lineage we have and will continue to have with a player like Anna."
Dessoye has international experience. She was named to the Under-19 National team and served as captain through the United States Junior National Team's tour of Holland.
SKUDALSKI A TOUGH DEFENDER – Sophomore Lauren Skudalski of Wyoming (Wyoming Seminary) had a big freshman season and she's starting where she left off this fall with the Columbia field hockey team.
Skudalski had four defensive saves last season which ranked third in the Ivy League and tied for 21st in NCAA Division I. She started all 17 games and has started all four games thus far this season for the 2-2 Lions.
"Lauren has an incredible fundamental base from her high school program," coach Mary Beth Freeman said. "She's an exceedingly talented individual and she will challenge any forward to insure she does her job in a deep defensive position."
The coach feels that Skudalski understands the importance of fundamental skills and leading my example.
"Leading by example is one of Lauren's greatest strengths," Freeman said.
TRIO SOLID FOR LEOPARDS – Senior Maria Machalick (Crestwood), sophomore Brittany Blass (Crestwood) and freshman Kirby Szalkowski (Dallas) are key performers for the Lafayette field hockey team which is currently 3-1 after a 3-0 triumph over Temple last Sunday.
Machalick had the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over James Madison.
"Maria understands the game very well and she has become more consistent and effective each year," coach Andrew Griffiths said. "She is playing as one of our central midfielders, which speaks for itself as to how important she is to the team."
Blass, a midfielder, had two goals in a 5-1 triumph over Ball State.
"Brittany is highly competitive and a natural leader on the field," Griffiths said. "I believe she is one of the best tacklers in the NCAA and she continues to be keen to learn in all areas of the game."
Szalkowski is listed as a midfield/forward for the Leopards.
"Kirby has started her college career very well," Griffiths said. "She has played meaningful minutes in all of our games. She is a tremendous athlete and we are working with her to make the best use of her abilities."
LOBICHUSKI STARTING – Brone Lobichuski (MMI Prep) is starting once again at middle blocker for the Swarthmore women's volleyball team, which upset No. 10-ranked Eastern University last Friday.
The 6-foot junior is in her third season starting at that spot and she currently has 27 kills, 20 blocks, 10 digs and 10 service aces for the 4-1 Garnet. Her blocks and aces lead the team.
"It is impressive how Brone has improved as a volleyball athlete since arriving at Swarthmore," coach Harleigh Chwastyk said. "She has really dedicated herself in the game, in the weight room and over the summer playing outdoors to improve her technical skills and volleyball IQ."
Against Eastern, Lobichuski had seven kills, seven blocks, two aces, two digs and had no errors on 18 hitting attempts.
"Brone has definitely bought into our philosophy that defense comes first, either as a blocker at the net or a defender in the backcourt," Chwastyk said. "Offensively, she is extremely consistent and efficient. She is also one of our strongest servers in a deceptive way because most teams we play don't expect the middle blockers to be able to serve aggressively and dig balls in the back row."
SEMENZA HELPING OUT – Junior Danielle Semenza (Hazleton Area) is starting for the Goldey-Beacom women's soccer team which is off to an 0-3 start.
"We have high expectations for all of our players this season, including Danielle," coach John Cappiello said. "With a large senior class departing the program last year, we will rely on returning players like Danielle to aid in the development of our younger players will helping the program to continue to move forward."
The Lightning, based in Wilmington, Delaware, will face cross-town rival Wilmington University in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference home game today.