The women's field hockey team had its first win of the season Saturday afternoon in a dominating 6-0 performance against Davidson College.
The Spiders, now 1-4, outshot the Wildcats 18-1. All of the team's goals were scored in the first half.
"If you really are focused on the bigger picture you can recognize that we are really becoming sharper," said head coach Gina Lucido. "There is an aggression in the team that I've wanted to see that's coming out now."
The Spiders' four losses this season all came by a one-goal margin and to tough competition. According to NCAA.com, Spider opponents Virginia (5), Temple (11), Louisville (16) and American (20) are all ranked in the top 20 teams of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.
"We knew going in that this stretch was going to be a haul," Lucido said. "We've proven to ourselves that we can play a high level of hockey consistently."
The Spiders will play seven more games before entering conference play in October.
"For me, realizing it's not an outcome-based season is important," Lucido said. "It just counts where we are in November. The team has really believed and followed in that message, and it's true."
Senior Chelsea Davies netted two goals in a game where five different Spiders scored. Davies is the Spiders' leading scorer with three goals.
"We made some great strides in Wednesday's loss," Davies said. "We just wanted to come out with a win today and improve even more."
Fellow senior forward Christina Amorose is one of five seniors on the Spiders roster. "This win was huge," Amorose said. "To get a one in that left hand column is a really big confidence boost for us."
The Spiders' coaching staff has implemented a new system this year in which substitutions are decided on before the games. Players know before the game whom they will be going in for and at what time.
"We're implementing some new things this season," Amorose said. "We needed those first four games to come in to our system of play and we're really happy that it's paying off."
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Davies felt the same relief that her teammate did. "It's huge to have that solidification to know we're doing it right," Davies said.
The Spiders will be back in action at Crenshaw Field Sept. 15 against James Madison. The game will conclude a stretch in which the Spiders play four games in seven days.
"We've been making deposits," Lucido said. "We've proven to ourselves that we can play a high level of hockey and to be able to win an Atlantic 10 championship, you have to put together back-to-back performances."
Contact staff writer Oliver Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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