Last season was a nail-biting experience for the IUP women’s field hockey team where they narrowly missed the playoffs, pandemic or not they are confident that they can have post-season success this spring.
IUP finished at an overall record of .500 with going 5-5 at home and putting a 4-4 tally on the road. Close games for most of the season all around except for a few disappointing finishes.
The two teams that handed IUP with the biggest problems on the scoreboard were West Chester and East Stroudsburg and IUP just could not really figure them out the whole season. They played against West Chester twice where they were unable to score a single point in two games against the No. 1 team in the country, and national champs.
That is in the past and the future is filled with infinite possibilities, like IUP making a hopeful playoff debut during the next season. Of course, there are specific steps to get there, but with the dreaded COVID-19, what does this mean for the Crimson Hawks?
The only way was to get an inside look from the one and only Coach Agard who gave an exclusive interview with The Penn.
Coach was asked about how the current state of collegiate sports has affected his daily routine.
“The biggest thing was practices changed because we couldn’t be with any other teams for any kind of scrimmaging, which made me have to come up with alternative solution and have us scrimmage each other,” said Agard.
“As we all know, when it comes to a solid practice, it’s always good to get a taste of other teams offensive and defensive play. Playing against your team is better than anything at this point and at least sharpens the skills.”
It is no new story that fall athletics have been cancelled for Division II, but this squad is hopeful for the return of sports.
“We are planning on it, but everything is up in the air and we are very hopeful for a spring season,” said Agard.
We can all be as hopeful in life, and in this case that is all Coach Agard and his team can do. They are going to get well prepared like any other season, because in sports, you must be ready for the next opponent and challenge.
So, what did Agard mention about how they were planning to make the playoffs and making a run during them?
“It all depends on the personell and coaching, and with the combination of that, we are going to do quite well in the spring,” said Agard.
Great coaching and the team as a whole working together will at every practice and game will send IUP to a date with the PSAC playoffs.
Coach Agard explained how he plans to be able to get on top of their Eastern foes like West Chester.
“We are in the process of it right now, we are in the execution of scoring and being offensively oriented as well as being more structural defensively and capitalizing on those big opportunities,” he said.
Being able to put up more goals and produce offense is what is going to win games in this day and age, and Agard knew that from the start. IUP managed to average 2.5 goals/game. While that stat may not be bad, Agard recognizes that it needs to better if you want to beat the teams the PSAC has to offer.
Well, to make this all happen, you must have some star power. Coach Agard was asked, if there is any player currently on the roster that you think can be a very impactful player this season.
“Lizzy Clemmer (Senior, Nursing) will be a impactful player and So will Emma Wilhelm (Sophomore, Nursing) as well as both our goalkeepers will be very impactful in the spring.”
It is obvious to Coach Agard that this team has the recipe for success with their routine, discipline, and development. When it comes time for spring, this team will be ready to put it all together on the field and make a run for the playoffs.