This week The Lafayette takes a time out with field hockey player Sarah Park.
Amy Hewlett: Can you give me a recap of last season?
Sarah Park: We started off preseason really strongly last year. We actually won a lot of our games. Then eventually it dwindled off, and our season didn’t go too well. We didn’t attack well and defensive structure wasn’t really there. We ended our season a little rough, but I think we started out better than where we left off, because in the spring season we came back and beat some top 20 programs in scrimmages. We came back this year as a completely different team and I’m a lot more confident with where we are.
AH: You just finished preseason, how did that go?
SP: We’re all really excited and we definitely made some growth. I’m really happy with where our team is. We started off not doing well, but with our first in season 3-0 win last Friday, I think we showed some definite improvement, and I’m really proud of where we are.
AH: How is the team transitioning into this year?
SP: We lost a lot of key players last year. Trying to replace them was big for us. Our freshman class coming in is seven girls, and they are the perfect matches to our puzzle. They’re showing a lot of strength, and I’m surprised at how well they’ve adapted.
AH: What do you think your team’s strengths and weaknesses will be this season?
SP: Definitely this year, we have a lot of team spirit, and we do everything together. We have a really good lineup for our attacking field, so we can really get some solid goals in. Rosie Shanks, a senior, has had some amazing practices and games lately, so I’m hoping the best for her. Defensively, we have pretty much the same defensive structure as last year. I’m confident in them and hope for more shutouts. We definitely have the will and the drive to keep going. Our biggest weakness is over analyzing things and always trying for perfection.
AH: How do you feel about replacing Katelyn Arnold’s position of goalkeeper?
SP: At first it was overwhelming because she is pretty much the poster child for student athletes. I’m a little flustered but excited because it’s pushing me to giving my all in everything I do.
AH: How have the coaches been preparing you for this season?
SP: We’ve always had a conversation about how they are just our facilitators. They give us the practices and meetings and utensils we need, but it’s up to us to apply it.
AH: What are your personal and team goals for the season?
SP: Personally I’d love to get a few more shutouts. Team-wise, we’d like to make it to the PLT [Patriot League Tournament]. We want to be able to host them and hopefully win them and make it as a top 20 program.
AH: What has been your favorite Lafayette field hockey moment?
SP: During the spring season, we were at Metzgar and all of the sudden there was a blizzard. We decided to make it a little fun and play soccer.
AH: Do you have any pregame rituals?
SP: For [Patriot League games] we always start screaming “PLT!” in the locker room, and for any other game we all just get together and start chanting to get us hyped up.
AH: Why did you decide to come to Lafayette?
SP: I was really attracted by the engineering program here. And you kind of get the best of both worlds with not being too stressed out by the academics but at the same time you’re still being pushed.
AH: What is something most people wouldn’t know about you?
SP: I used to be 5’5” and now I’m 5’3”, so I’ve been shrinking over the years.