Head coach Scott Reed knows his team is driven.
After a spring season where the team went 9-12, Reed said his squad gained the ability to absorb the lessons from losses, reflect on mistakes and strengthen its approach for the next match.
It’s an important attribute for any team seeking to make a postseason run, and one Reed said will serve the Colonials well as they prepare to open CWPA Southern Division Championship play Saturday in Lewisburg, Pa.
“Their minds are sponges,” Reed said. “They don’t take losses well, [they] make necessary corrections and move on from there.”
What could make the difference for the Colonials in the postseason play is the team’s chemistry, drawn from its unique roster. GW suits up 10 underclassmen, a young squad by any
measure. But the team’s age has kept one particular player from grabbing the spotlight: senior attack Monica Hanson said.
“I think in years past, we’ve had one star [player] that’s been our main offense or that’s been our main defense,” Hanson said. “And this time, we have such a great up-and-coming team that everyone is really able to contribute.”
The team’s level playing field shows in Reed’s rotation throughout the season. All but two players registered minutes in at least 20 of the 21 contests, and four Colonials recorded 30 or more goals.
Three of those contests were against nationally-ranked opponents Iona College, Princeton and Michigan. Though GW dropped all three of those games, Reed said the improved competition was an “eye-opener” for his team, a belief echoed by senior center Megan Walker.
“I think you become the best by playing the best. You never really know how far you can push yourself until you are forced to push yourself,” Walker said. “So, I look forward to playing ranked teams like Michigan and Princeton. I think it makes us better.”
The Colonials open postseason play this weekend as the No. 5 seed, taking on No. 1 Princeton in the first game Saturday. Rounding out GW’s bracket in the Southern championship is No. 4 seeded Bucknell, which the Colonials will face in their second contest Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s play, the second day of the tournament, will be determined by the previous day’s results.
Last season, GW fell to Bucknell 10-8 at the CWPA Eastern Championship to finish the year in eighth place. The Colonials wrapped the 2011 season with a 7-20 overall record.
GW has a chance to avenge last season’s loss to the Bison Saturday when it returns to postseason play. Key for the young team over its challenging first round, Hanson said, will be keeping a high level of energy throughout play.
“Some people have trouble not burning out and keeping the enthusiasm for it going [which] is going to be a major goal of ours,” she said.
Hanson and Walker, in their final seasons with the program, believe that intensity can push GW to postseason success. The Colonials have just one goal in mind each time they take to the pool.
“I think, at this point in the season, we are not just training to train. We are training to win,” Walker said.
This article appeared in the April 12, 2012 issue of the Hatchet.