RANDOLPH, NJ- With graduation taking four key players who were the backbone of the 2018 Randolph Field Hockey team, there appeared to be a big void to fill in 2019. However, the Lady Rams returning Varsity players have been hyper-focused on stepping up to fill those shoes and keep the team competitive this coming season.
“Losing some of our very key players last year was concerning, however, me and other returning varsity starters have been working very hard during the off season,” said senior captain Katie Oh. “I was able to run several captain practices where we worked on stick skills, drills, and ran the mile in order to get in shape. We knew we had big shoes to fill so worked hard for our upcoming season.”
While some of their top offensive weapons graduated, the Lady Rams do return some firepower from last year, and will look to the likes of Sarah Bona -sophomore forward, Sidney Lusardi- junior midfielder, and Lexi Campbell - sophomore forward, to team up with Oh and create scoring chances.
All four had success on the offensive end of the field during last season, and each will be expected to produce even more this year.
“This pre-season, the offense has been working extremely well,” said Oh. “The girls are all working together and have a good connection with each other on the field.”
Head Coach Gina Adickes ( in her fourth season at the helm ) cited some younger newcomers who will be key contributors in the varsity mix this season. They are Jordan Saybe- sophomore midfielder, Gianna Drake sophomore midfielder, and Sarah Dickson sophomore forward.
“In order for the younger kids to get ready for varsity level of play, I have been giving as much as advice and help as I can,” said Oh. “During our pre-season we worked very hard at every single practice with drills and skills that will help prepare all of us for this upcoming season.”
On defense, senior captains Eve Guttman and Lauren Sieber will be the team leaders on the back line, and will be key to organizing and instructing their younger teammates out on the field.
“Since day one, Coach A has taught us that a field hockey field consists 10 players and a goalie, and not one or two really skilled players,” said Sieber. “Since our varsity roster is made up of girls with different types of experience, working together is crucial for success.”
Their veteran presence will also be crucial to helping sophomore Amanda Klopper acclimate to the varsity game as the Rams new goalie this season.
“Since we do have a brand new goalie this year, we are not expecting her to be perfect,” said Guttman. “She, just like all of us on the field, makes mistakes, and I have been trying to keep her motivated and encouraged. She is still learning and I am there to guide her, give her tips, and praise her on the skills she executes well.”
“This will be a year of growth and gut checks,” said Adickes. “We will have to play through every challenge we face being so young. I believe every day we will get better and be a true competitive team this season.”
Adickes stated that the Lady Rams strength is, “Strong centers and some great speed,” while adding their weakness as being, “We are young and inexperienced.”
When asked about her captains, Adickes offered, “Katie Oh is well organized and our positive captain, while Eve Guttman is our vocal and straight forward captain. She doesn’t mind being honest.”
Adickes continued, “Lauren Sieber is our biggest cheerleader, and Sidney Lusardi – she is our tough player who will do anything for her teammates.”
“These four were chosen as captains because they each bring something different to the table,” said Adickes. “But they all have one goal in mind, to build team chemistry to win.”
The Lady Rams are eager to start the season, but they know their road will be a tough one as they play a strong schedule.
“Being in the top conference in Morris County, the teams’ mood is simply nervous but curious,” said Sieber. “What I mean by that is we know we will be competing against top teams, but we are excited to play them.”
The Lady Rams opened their 2019 season on Tuesday Sept 3, falling to Mendham by the score of 3-1. Campbell assisted Sarah Bona who scored the lone goal for Randolph. They play again away at West Morris on Thursday Sept. 5