HAMILTON, N.Y. – If there had been a Patriot League field-hockey season this fall, Colgate University would have been able to boast of a 2019 Lakeland graduate that brings plenty of talent and experience to the field.

That graduate is Emily Kness, who was an All-State performer and a three-time state champion at Lakeland.

Unfortunately, on Monday, Kness, and the rest of the student-athletes in the Patriot League found out that the league canceled fall sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“It was very disappointing to hear that the Patriot League canceled all fall sports,” Kness said. “It’s hard to process that we won’t be playing any competition at all. We have all kept a positive mindset, so it might take a few days to set in.”

While there will be no games for Kness to play, there is hope that her and her teammates will still be able to get together and work on their skills.

“As of now, if everyone’s health permits it, there will be some type of practices and strength and conditioning allowed,” Kness said. “This will be very important, because we have had so much time off and now we won’t be able to play any games in the fall. We are hoping to be able to work together and get better.”

Now with no games to play this fall, Kness will use the extra time in her schedule wisely.

“I plan on focusing on my academics and staying in shape now that we won’t be competing,” Kness said.

There is still hope that field hockey could be played later on. The league is exploring the opportunity of playing fall sports in the second semester, according to its press release.

“It would mean a lot to be able to play with our seniors for the last time,” Kness said. “Everyone has worked hard all year long, and we look forward to playing with one another, so it would be great to be able to compete in the spring.”

Kness comes off a season where, as a freshman midfielder last fall, she started in all of Colgate’s 17 games, with her seven defensive saves being tied for third most in the nation.

“I was able to make the adjustment to Division 1 field hockey so quickly because of the training and preparation I had done throughout high school and in the off-season,” Kness said. “Coach [Sharon] Sarsen, sets her players up for success and provided us with countless opportunities to better our game, which made the transition natural.”

Kness said that playing at Lakeland prepared her for the next level in many ways.

“Coach Sarsen teaches you how to be disciplined and composed, on and off the field,” Kness said. “Playing at Lakeland also prepared me for high-pressured situations; that is valuable at the collegiate level.”

What Kness liked most about playing at the Division 1 level in her first collegiate season was the top-level players she went up against.

“Division 1 is full of strong competitors, so it was fun to challenge myself every day,” she said.

While Kness loves playing Division 1 field hockey at Colgate, her heart will always be at Lakeland, where she won all of her three state titles, each under Sarsen.

“What I miss most about playing at Lakeland is seeing Sars and playing with my friends,” Kness said. “You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”