Team Chemistry Drives Pioneers

by Abby Ferguson

When watching a team play or interact with each other, one of the first things noticed is the team’s chemistry. The Transylvania field hockey team has just that; they are a group of girls that loves spending time together by playing the game each of them enjoys.

Junior Laura Hammer charges down the field during the team's first win against Earlham College.

“Our camaraderie is definitely what makes us unique,” said junior captain Laura Hammer. “We know we seem like an odd bunch but we love it. We wouldn’t have it any other way. I think our interactions on and off the field are what make our time together so fun.”

Not only do the girls have great chemistry, they take pride in the fact that they respect their opponents.

“Every time our team walks off the field I’m always so proud to be a part of the team because we walk off with so much more class than the other team,” said junior Ruth Kloha.

Although the girls have fun and enjoy the game they still know there is a job to be done on the field.

“They are continuing to work hard and are learning and applying things on the field,” said head coach Tiffany Underhill.

The team is now 1-5, earning their first win against Earlham College this past week. The girls knew going in that it would be a tough game but they were determined to win.

“Our win was awesome! It was a culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication. We knew what we needed to do and we knew we could beat this team,” Hammer said.

“We finally got the chance to put it into practice. Hopefully we can channel that into more wins.”

With this win under their belt they are hoping to build on the keys that made them successful against Earlham.

“Key factors of our win against Earlham I would say (were) our aggressiveness and winning the 50-50 balls. We had in our minds that we were winning this game — determination,” said Underhill.

“(I am) hoping to get revenge on the teams we have already faced,” Underhill said. “Knowing their styles of play and working on our weaknesses. I want the opposing teams and coaches to say and notice that we have improved and are a threat.”

The girls are considered to be the underdogs but they want to change that perception and show their opponents they can run with the big dogs.

“People expect to beat us and I would love for us to change their view of us,” said Kloha.

The newest addition to the field hockey coaching staff is Kayla Bashore, who is a midfielder for the U.S. national field hockey team. Bashore grew up in Pennsylvania and started playing when she was 15. After high school she went on to attend Indiana University where she continued to play field hockey. In 2006, she joined the national team and has been playing on it ever since.

After hearing about Transy’s field hockey team from a friend, Bashore ended up contacting Underhill. Even though Bashore has only been with the Transy team for a few weeks, she has already witnessed the camaraderie that the girls have.

“The girls are a tight-knit group with a great energy and fun, positive personalities. There are areas that need improvement but they have the right attitude that will get them to where they want to go,” said Bashore. “I am looking forward to a great year with (them). They are a unique, special group of girls and I feel very lucky for this opportunity!”

Bashore knows that the girls have great potential and believes they can become a strong team.

“I would like to see them really commit themselves at each practice like I see them at games. They are competitors, no doubt. If they can bring it like that to practice, they can improve tremendously,” said Bashore.

“I would love for our team to grow leaps and bounds while at the same time not forgetting the reason we are playing,” said Kloha.


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