Losing only one graduation senior last year, veterans of the women’s field hockey team have formed a close-knit bond that will be a key factor in its anticipated success in the upcoming season.
Beginning preseason camp a few weeks ago with double sessions each day, the Lions have been focusing on living up to their preseason poll ranking as the top seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament.
“We have been focusing on improving small parts of our game so that we can properly execute once the season starts,” junior Mikalya Cimilluca said.
“Our own team is each other’s best competition, so we’ve been scrimmaging each other in order to prepare for our first game.”
The NJAC boats a competitive conference — but the Lions have set their eyes on winning it. Even further than that, Cimilluca says the team is hoping to win a National Championship, but to do that, she says they must “take no opponent lightly and we must leave everything we have on the field each time we play.”
“We always say that our goal is to be happy after each time we play field hockey,” Cimilluca said. “In order to do so, we want to win each and every game, starting with our home opener.”
With their first game of the season on Friday, Aug. 29 against Stevens Institute of Technology, Cimilluca says her teammates must push each other to play to the best of their ability and leave it all on the field in order to be successful.
“We have so much talent on our team, and as long as we work hard success will be in our future,” Cimilluca said. “Team unity is so important because it will determine the outcome of our season. With the hard work, desire and talent, I have no doubt in my mind this team can accomplish anything we believe if we put our mind to it.”
With the incoming freshman making their debut on the field, Cimilluca says that have really challenged the returners during preseason.
“They are extremely hardworking and help push the upperclassmen to work harder,” she said. “The freshmen are a great addition to the TCNJ field hockey team.”
Cimilluca, who described her team as extremely close, said that they are eager to get to know new freshman right away.
“I believe that the family like aspect is one of the most amazing things about being a part of such a tradition-filled, cohesive team like the College’s field hockey program,” Cimilluca said. “Our camaraderie makes being successful that much easier. Not only do we play for ourselves, but we play for each and every person that is and once was a TCNJ field hockey player.”