Thursday, February 26, 2015

Behind the Scenes With DCFH: Spring is in the Air

The fall semester is over and DCFH has officially completed our very first season in the A-10! It is unbelievable how fast the season flew by, and here we are already five weeks into the spring! My name is Connie Cape and I am a junior goalie happily here to give you an updated behind the scenes!

Now before I get into our spring updates, a huge congrats to the awesome Charlotte DCFH alums that won an adult team tournament over the winter break! Definitely made all of us who couldn’t go even more excited to come back and start playing with the whole team again.

What a spring it has already been! After just a week of coming back to school, the team jumped right into our first weeks of conditioning and lifting to keep us distracted from the fact we were not allowed to start practicing yet. Instead of going back to the monotony of 4:30 workouts, we decided to change the schedule up a little bit. We all split into two to three groups for each day and ran our four miles on Mondays, our agilities on Wednesdays, so we would all be done with our workouts by 4:30pm everyday. Some groups were smaller than others but still just as fun. I was in a spin group on Tuesdays that would vary from four to five people so needless to say we had some great bonding time jumping and climbing hills will jamming to Ginny’s awesome spin playlists. I personally spent more time in the pool or using the versa-climber in the training room since I am still recovering from surgery in December, but I definitely had some great company with Becky Johnson as a fantastic swim partner and few others who would come back and forth getting to do some seriously exciting versa workouts that definitely showed your level of coordination. Being separated into smaller groups made us miss the girls we didn’t see, but it always made Friday boot camps that much more enjoyable, since these were the days we all got to be together and battle through some challenging circuit workouts. Even Becky and I got to be a part of the Fridays by making playlists for workouts or playing last years warm-up track. Even though these conditioning weeks were hard and exhausting, we still found some entertainment in them all, and we have already seen improvements in fitness and strength!

Even though players have been able to do an individual workout each week, all of us were so excited to hit the end of the straight conditioning period, and finally start practicing with the whole team! Low and behold, the week we were going to start our time up on our turf, North Carolina decided we hadn’t had enough winter for it to be considered February yet. So Davidson College welcomed a few icy snowstorms that delayed our chances to get up to the field for a week. That week could have turned into a grim one for all of us, but we pushed through the last few days and had one of the greatest opportunities to talk to two Davidson alumnae and hear about their experiences.

Heather J. Mckee, a DCFH alum, and Jane Campbell, a Davidson alum who was a huge DCFH fan during her time at Davidson, both graduated in 1987. It was such a great pleasure to listen to Heather’s stories of leading the team as a captain and handling tough situations that occurred, while also hearing Jane’s incredible story of persevering and excelling in the Navy as a high ranking official coordinating operations. These two amazing women gave the team great advice on leadership and how to work together with respect and commitment. For me, this was one of the highlights of my Davidson Field Hockey career. The ability to meet these great alumnae from Davidson inspired me to reach places I didn’t imagine I could go in terms of leadership and communication within the team and on the field. Another huge bonus is these two have moved back to Davidson so we are all hoping to see a lot more of them during the spring and next fall!

Even though the snow has gotten in our way, we have still been able to practice a few times before we all go on spring break, and boy have they have felt amazing! It has already been so great to put our shin guards on and start building together as a team. Nothing has made me happier in the last few weeks than standing in cage and getting shots from each player including a few from Ginny and Catherine. Once spring break is over we will all be more than ready to really get into practice and prepare for our spring games.

            What would the spring be if we didn’t have some play days to get all of us back into gameplay and build momentum for next season! We are so excited to start the spring March 21st at home, hosting Appalachian State and Limestone for a play day. Then it is off to Winston-Salem April 2nd to take on Wake Forest in some friendly competition. I am extremely happy to finish the main spring season travelling to Richmond on April 11th, where we will go against some A-10 teams Richmond and VCU. Nothing like playing conference teams to bring some drive into the fall season! This play day isn’t the end for us though, for we have our annual Alumnae Game April 18th. This is always an entertaining way to end the spring playing with old teammates and Davidson field hockey players from long before we were here representing the team.

            I don’t know about everyone else, but I will be counting down the days before I can come home to Davidson after spring break and put my gear back on with everyone else. As I close this new entry, I wish for warmer weather for all reading this blog. I’m hoping wherever you are, you get to relax as much as we can during our spring break! Hope to see anyone and everyone at our first play day of the spring!

Until next time,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Behind the Scenes with DCFH: A new conference brings a season of change

      Six months, four graduated seniors,  and one preseason later… We are now closing in on the last few games in our very first season of Atlantic 10 field hockey. Forgive my cheesiness, but who knows where the time goes. My name is Lucy Pidcock, and as a junior on the team I’ve  inherited Frenchie’s role as the DCFH blogger. 
      After a few months of summer internships and – most importantly – summer workout packets, DCFH reunited in August, armed with eight new teammates and two new assistant coaches Catherine Ostoich and Kristen O’Rourke (who am I kidding, we all call her KO – who is this so called Kristen lady?), excited to take the A10 by storm. Despite many hot hours on the turf and freezing minutes (feels like hours) in the ice bath, I gotta say that preseason may still be one of my favorite times of year. Who doesn’t love all-you-can-eat Commons, team bonding, and catching some rays (aka sunburn in the shape of pinnies, shorts, and shin guards)? And not only were we back on the field with all of our DCFH family, we were back on a
new field! Yes, the first few practices may have required that we try to avoid hitting the construction workers with stray sweeps and drives, but by the middle of preseason we had the best lookin’ turf around - soon complemented by a sick set of speakers. Believe it or not, we (and the rest of North Carolina) can now hear our warm up mix before games!
      If I were to boil our season down to a number of wins and losses, I’d be leaving out huge parts of the DCFH story. When I mentioned the newest members of the DCFH family, I think I forgot someone pretty important. In addition to the veteran fans who show up at every game equipped with red sweaters, Davidson flags, and endless bowls of pimento cheese, we are now cheered on by one of our youngest Wildcat fans, baby Parks Turner. Not that he really has much say in the matter, but Parks has proven a dedicated fan thus far, traveling to Farmville, Virginia to watch the ‘Cats take on Longwood University. That being said, I am pretty happy to say that we spent just one weekend in Virginia this season (not five in a row…flashback to the NorPac era). Instead, we spent the last two months jet setting across the United States, playing games in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Not to mention our first A10 win against St. Louis University in Missouri! ‘Twas a great day to be a wildcat.

Being on the road isn’t always easy, but it does mean both the chance to see DCFH alums and family members, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to eat copious amounts of ice cream at the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters.  

We unfortunately didn’t get to meet Ben or Jerry, but they definitely have a good thing going up there in Vermont. And hey, my ice cream had strawberries in it, so that’s basically just fruit and dairy (calcium builds strong bones), right? Nothin’ but a healthy snack.

As for life on campus, DCFH recently held our third annual Stick it to Cancer game, where we sold t-shirts to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We may or may not also have worn pink bows in our hair, and that may or may not have been my favorite part of the event... don’t tell Ginny. In addition to celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness with our teammates, families, and fans – shout out to the soccer, lacrosse, and baseball teams for all the support! – we also celebrated freshman Morgan French’s ROTC contracting ceremony in which she officially became a member of the United States Army.

I have to admit I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I know we are all proud of this young ‘Cat nonetheless!

A few practices, lifts, and games later, we are now closing in on the end of another season, all of us left wondering where the time went and how we could possibly get it back. Three games left, it is time, now more than ever, to fight tooth and claw.  While it is in our nature as athletes to spend innumerable hours replaying games and practices in our heads, asking ourselves why we didn’t just pull right when Ginny told us to, it is also in our nature to carry on, to learn, to laugh, and to grow.

Consider this an invitation to Senior Day this Friday, where we will celebrate seniors Madeline Herder, Kaity Anstrom, and Kristy Helscel and all the ways they’ve contributed to this program throughout the last four years. As Frenchie would say/this is my first blog post and I’m not really sure how to end it … I wish every reader out there a safe Halloween. May your costumes be scary and your stomachs full of candy!!!!

Yours truly,


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