2001 Field Hockey Outlook
Aug. 17, 2001
After posting a 10-6 record last year with a fairly young squad, the Brown field hockey team is poised for another winning season and a chance to capture its second Ivy title in three years. With 19 returning letterwinners, six newcomers and only four lost to graduation, the Bears have the experience, the leadership, the talent, and the depth to go far in 2001.
Despite the loss of Regional All-American and team high-scorer Cara Gardner '01, the Brown forward line is stacked with speed, power, and game sense. Seniors Hyun-Joo Park and Lauren LaRochelle bring the most experience to the offense. Park has seen action in every game but two over her three-year career thus far, and returns as the top-scoring forward for the Bears with 13 points last season. LaRochelle is also a standout on the front line and is noted for her quickness with the ball and her fierce determination. Junior Nikki Gamer saw time in all but one contest last year and will look to vie for a starting position this season, as she continues to improve her game.
Sophomores Meaghan Harwood, Laurel Pierpont, and Molly Carleton round out the returnees to the forward line. Harwood played in every game last year and earned a starting position ten times. Her quickness and agility make it difficult for defenders to mark her effectively. Pierpont saw action in 13 contests, steadily improving throughout the season, and returns as one of the two top-scoring freshmen with eight points. Carleton, a wing with great speed, saw limited action as a rookie but will look to contest for a starting position after a year of experience. Adding depth to the forward line in 2001 will be newcomers Tess Belmont and Evan O'Connell.
The Brown midfield returns junior tri-captain Ashley Wallace to its ranks, a speedy player with excellent ball control and an instinctual knowledge of the game. Wallace has started in every contest since her freshman year and brings significant leadership to the Bears. She is also one of the most consistent players in the league. Sophomore Lizzie Buza made an immediate impact as a rookie and earned a starting position for the season. Her poise on the field as a freshman was remarkable, only to improve with experience. Her constant hard work and intensity added tremendously to the team's success. Junior Colleen Kanara also returns to the midfield. While seeing only limited action her first two years, Kanara's off-season work-ethic and training has vastly improved her game, and she will look for more playing time in 2001.
Sophomore Courtney Kistler, who returns after taking last year off, will look to challenge for a spot this season. Freshman Nicole Anderson and sophomore walk-on Ashley Branca will add depth to the midfield, while newcomer Christine Gaffney could see time at either midfield or back.
Anchoring Brown's always-solid defense are the other two tri-captains, Megan Patterson and Katie Austin. Patterson, in her second stint as captain, is one of the top defenders in the league and instrumental on both offensive and defensive corners. She has speed, great field vision, and a remarkable work ethic. Austin is also instrumental in corners, and along with Patterson, has the best defensive tackle on the team. She's steady and calm under pressure with a powerful drive, all attributes that make her an excellent sweeper.
Junior Cory Pelletier has also been a mainstay on defense for the past two years, earning a starting position as a freshman and retaining it with her great ball control and knowledge of the game. She is one of the top corner hitters on the team as well, and has put away eight goals on direct hits. Sophomore Nora Pickens earned a starting position last year and appeared in almost every game. Her stickwork, speed and consistency had an immediate impact on the already talented Brown defense. Sophomore Margaret Pulvermann saw limited action as a rookie, but will challenge for a position this season, as will newcomer Julia Kelderman.
Brown is stacked with talent and depth in goal with two senior goaltenders in Annie Owens and Sasha Friedman, providing leadership on the field. Owens has been the starting keeper since her freshman year, but will be challenged by Friedman and sophomore keeper Erica Rogers, both of whom have worked hard in the off-season. In addition, freshman Kathryn Noe has the ability to challenge for the position. All four have the capacity to push each other, which will only add to Brown's strong last line of defense.