College field hockey: Five fierce players to watch for this year
In just a week’s time, sticks will hit the ground once again for field hockey season. However, in preparation for this, fans should be searching for which players to watch out for in the 2016 season. These fierce five look to be the biggest threats to be faced as college field hockey teams fight for winning seasons.
Laura Hurff | Syracuse
While just a junior this year, this midfielder for the Orange started in all 22 games last year, helping lead her team to win the national championship. This summer, she earned a silver medal with the USA Field Hockey’s U-21 Team at the Junior Pan Am games and was selected to play with the USA in the Young Women’s National Championship. Now, as a junior with plenty of experience, fans may see her dominate the field.
Kristy Bernatchez | North Carolina
Senior back Bernatchez comes from a family of field hockey players, and with a dream to play on the international level, she is a player that will try to push herself and her team to greatness. However, she started her season a little late last year after fracturing a tibia, but eventually played in a total of 18 games. She is a member of the U.S. U-21 National Team and played with them throughout the summer, proving her health. Still, she was part of a team that fell just short of the championship last year, and with her abilities, she may lead them back to the championship game again.
Rebecca Holden | Virginia
This redshirt-senior goalkeeper is not a player to ignore. She led the ACC with the fourth most saves and average saves per game. She split most of her playing time with a younger teammate, but she holds the credit for a number of victories throughout the season. Last year, she was part of the ACC All-Tournament Team and led as a co-captain for Virginia’s team. Even if she is splitting time again, fans will probably still hear her name again this season.
Robin Blazing | Duke
While this senior forward hasn’t made her way to an international field, she spent last year starting in every game and, in 2014, played in every game. Blazing consistently registers shots and has proved to be a major force on Duke’s team, helping last year’s team to a top-5 finish. In her last year on Duke’s field, fans can expect to see her make some major moves in 2016.
Casey Umstead | UConn
In 2015, this junior forward was named to the All-Mideast Region Second Team, the All-Big East Tournament Team and the All-Big East Second Team after starting in all 23 games for UConn. That year, she also set her career best of 18 goals and seven assists. However, Umstead has been impacting UConn since her freshman year when she saw action in every game. With her last chance to help her team finish on top, Umstead looks to be a large threat on offense this year.