Stephanie Wickett – Staff Writer
Roanoke College’s Women’s Field Hockey team has started off the 2010 season with high hopes for their best season with their new head coach, Brianna Banks. With two games under its belt the team is sitting with a 1 win 1 loss season with plans to keep moving forward and end with a winning season. Right now, Roanoke sits in 7th in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Preseason Poll, but do not underestimate these girls. Word on the field is that it is going to be a better season all thanks to Banks.
Banks brings to Roanoke a solid background of field hockey experience that started as a young child and lead to playing for the University of Maine, coaching high schools in Maine and Pennsylvania, and assistant coaching at Muhlenberg College. Now at RC, she has big plans for the Women’s Field Hockey team. Upon first arrival Banks saw a team that played as 11 individuals on the field, not a cohesive structure of players, and she knew instantly that that needed to change. She brought knowledge, love, and enthusiasm for the game. Banks started to slow things down and brought the girls together, helping them learn to play like one.
“We want to go in one direction and that’s up,” Banks said.
Not only does Banks have a good feeling about this season, but so do her players.
“We’ve come further now than we ever have in the past two seasons that I’ve played” said defensive player Mary Pace ’12.
Pace knows that Banks means business but also loves that they can have a good time at practice as well. She has a great feeling about this season and believes they are going to come out of it with a great record and a stronger team. Pace’s teammate, midfielder Megan Maier ’11, agrees about the great things Banks is doing.
“I think she’s a lot more experienced and a lot more positive and very effective at motivating us and keeping us where we need to be” Maier said.
She feels the team is more prepared, has a better attitude, and sees the team acting and playing more as one. Both girls could agree that they are very happy with their new coach.
“I think that we are extremely lucky to have Coach Banks,” Pace said.
With a team and a coach that have high hopes and big dreams for the 2010 field hockey season, it seems like there will be a totally different team out on the field this year. Coach Banks wants to continue to get stronger and is ready for all the hard work it will take and it seems like the girls are too.
“They believe in what I am telling them, in which they are now believing in themselves,” Banks said.
Determined to build the team and bring in the wins, it should be a great season for the RC Women’s Field Hockey team.