Looking through Oswego State’s field hockey roster, there is a plethora of talent from all classes, especially the class of 2018. Players like Sarita Charap, Monica Harvey, Dani Cronk and Andrea Kelly are all significant players to this team and show how well head coach Brandi Lusk has recruited.
However, there are only three players on this year’s roster that will be graduating and will not return next year: Emily Lange, Grace Lombardi and Lisa O’Callaghan.
Despite being a small number on the roster, these three players have led this team and play a major role on this team on the field both during the games and at practices.
“I think it’s tough to only have such a small class [of seniors],” Lusk said.
While there are far more underclassmen on the team, Lusk believes that these three seniors have done their job in giving the team leadership and showing them how to become leaders in the future.
Midfielder Emily Lange says the two most important things to show to her teammates are reponsibility and accountability.
“They’re new to the collegiate level so it’s not entirely the same as high school,” Lange said.
She said they do their best to teach the underclassmen how to balance the workload of practices and games along with the schoolwork that is given to them.
Along with showing them how to adjust to the collegiate level, Lange and O’Callaghan both said they see it as a responsibility to demonstrate how to become leadesr when it is their turn.
“Anyone looks up to someone older than you,” Lange said. “You want to set a good example for the underclassmen on the team, regardless of age.”
Although they have a responsibility to guide the team at all times, the seniors also have the responsibility of being looked as the example in crunch times during games.
Whether it’s a tight game at the end or the team is behind looking to make a comeback, Lusk sees the value in having players who are both mentally and physically tough for those specific scenarios.
“These girls want to win,” Lusk said. “They know what it takes to try and bring the team to the next level.
Lange agreed, but noted the importance of keeping the collaborative team mentality and atmosphere.
“Regardless of age it’s important that everyone plays their role,” Lusk said. “I would say lead by example. As long as the rest of the seniors work their hardest on the field it will translate to the underclassmen.”
This past Wednesday, all three seniors played excellently in a 6-0 victory against Keuka College.
Emily Lange had three shots on goal and although she didn’t score, she notched a pair of assists and now leads the team with four on the season.
Grace Lombardi blocked both shots that she faced improving her save percentage to .741 on her way to her first shutout of the season.
The star for the Lakers was the third senior, Lisa O’Callaghan. A commanding threat for all 70 minutes of the game, she took eight total shots, six of which were shots on goal, while three found the back of the net to give her the third, fourth and fifth goals of the season.
Lusk is not a believer in statistics portraying exactly how well her team is playing, however.
She said that the score sheets cannot show how well Grace Lombardi has played in the goal, after taking over the starting spot a few weeks ago. Her composure and toughness aren’t measured by any statistic.
The talent moving forward on this team should not be questioned, with the depth and talent that the underclassmen have. However, this team does not achieve the same success without the skill and control this trio of seniors have on the team without them along the way.