Field hockey team dominates, goes 3-0

Paul Martucci

The swift sticks of the Villanova field hockey team are creating a dominating offensive attack, outscoring the team’s opposition by a score of 13-3 while leaping to a 3-0 record.

The season opened up with a 7-1 win at Georgetown, followed by consecutive 3-1 wins against Bucknell at Villanova Stadium and against Drexel at Drexel University.

The impressive offensive explosion has been led by junior Megan Foster. Through three games, Foster leads the team with four goals. Last year, as a sophomore, Foster led the team in scoring with 18 goals. Her accomplishments earned her second team All-Big East honors.

Leading this year’s team are senior co-captains Natalie Balthrop and Rory Rogers. Balthrop and Rogers, along with head coach Joanie Q. Milhous, are behind the implementation of a new playing style for this year’s team.

“In the past we have played more man-to-man defense,” Balthrop said. “This year, we are playing a zone defense and we have implemented more attack into our play. We are putting a larger focus on offense.”

The Wildcats have been a successful program, winning at least 11 games in each of the past seven seasons. This year’s campaign hopes to be another successful one.

“We have a very deep team this year,” Balthrop said. “Every person on the field is fighting for a position and that fight is what makes our team better as a whole.” Balthrop also said, “It is hard to compare teams from past years, but I know that we have something great going this year. The team chemistry on and off the field is amazing.”

To take on the ‘Nova field hockey team, this year’s schedule is set to be a particularly tough one. It includes the regular Big East match-ups in addition to a handful of out-of-conference games.

“Our schedule will definitely be tough this year,” Balthrop said. “We are really excited to play Louisville for the first time in the Big East. UConn is always a great game, along with the other Big East games. This weekend we head to Penn State which will be a great game and over fall break we travel down to Duke, which will be a physically and mentally tough game.”

The team will seek to continue its high scoring, winning ways in its upcoming games Friday at Penn State, Sunday at Temple and against West Chester on Wednesday at Villanova Stadium. Balthrop hopes that this strong start can transition into a strong season.

“Our team has unbelievable potential and we come to practice to work hard day in and day out,” she said. “The desire to win and the level of competition is what drives our team to succeed. If we keep playing our game and keep working hard, we will finish at the top of the Big East and hopefully nationally ranked.”