Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Volpe’s Strong Play, Senior Leadership Set Tone for Young Hoyas

When senior forward Kristen Volpe scored the first goal of the season for the Georgetown field hockey team on Saturday, it was a relief for a team that had scored only 11 goals the previous year and had been shut out through one-and-a-half games of this young season. A short 16 minutes later, the feeling of relief had been replaced by one of delight and cautious optimism, as Volpe completed her first career hat trick with a shot from the left circle.

Volpe’s three goals turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead for the Hoyas, and, although they would eventually fall 4-3, both Volpe and Head Coach Tiffany Marsh were encouraged by the offensive outburst. “[It was important for the team to see Volpe] take the team on her back like she did . we were down, [and] she completely took over,” Marsh said.

As a result of her heroics this past weekend, Volpe was named to the Big East Honor Roll, the first time a player has been given such an honor since Marsh arrived at Georgetown in 2007. While the entire team is ecstatic for Volpe over her recent accolades, both Marsh and Volpe hope that this honor signals increasing visibility and respect for a Georgetown team that has struggled to a cumulative 2-32 record over the past two years.

On a more personal level, Volpe acknowledges having achieved what she described as “definitely a goal of [hers]” going into the season and is already more than halfway to her 2008-2009 team-leading total five goals because of her 16-minute offensive explosion. This league-wide recognition is well deserved and has certainly been long in coming for a player who has played in every game since her

freshman year, starting all but four of them.

Just two games into the year, Volpe has already achieved uncommon levels of personal success, but this year has also not been without its unique challenges. Although Volpe is accustomed to being the only member of her class on the team – as she was the lone junior on the team last year – her position as team captain and lone senior carries with it a whole new set of responsibilities and challenges. It would have been easy for Volpe, along with the only two juniors on the team, forward Micaela O’Toole and defender Annika Bannon, to hold themselves apart from the 18 underclassmen – including 12 freshmen – on the roster; but Volpe is quick to praise the unity and cohesiveness of the team.

“[We] tried to make sure that we were a team first and that we don’t have age or grade separation,” Volpe said of the three upperclassmen, expressing a philosophy that is sure to pay increasing dividends as the season wears on and the members of the team become increasingly comfortable practicing and playing with each other.

The energy and talent of the younger players on the team has made its impression on both the coach and the captain, and Volpe is excited to see what the team takes from this past weekend and what it can do in the future. “We have a ton of potential and I really do think we’re going to shock some people this year,” Volpe said. “I’m really just excited to see what’s gonna happen.”

As it stands right now, Marsh has not yet found her team’s best lineup, but as the season goes on and her players get more accustomed to playing with each other, the increased consistency and confidence should do wonders for her young team.

Of course, it helps a coach to know that her senior captain is ready to take her place at the forefront of her squad, and Marsh said she is confident that “if we’re in that situation again we can look to [Kristen Volpe] to step up.”

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