Assumption Field Hockey: How Coach Annie Lahey and Team Achieved Success

Published 1 year ago -

By Emme Poulin, Staff Writer

In Coach Annie Lahey’s office, there is a large NE-10 championship sign, blue congratulatory flowers, and a big smile on Coach Lahey’s face. It is clear to see the huge feat the field hockey team at Assumption University had accomplished.

“They (field hockey team) were ready to go. They bought into my mentality which is just ‘lets get it done’.”

On Sunday, November 7th, 2021, Coach Lahey and her field hockey team won the NE-10 championship game, after a 20-1 record for the season. Along with this accomplishment, Coach Lahey was also named the NE-10 field hockey coach of the year, claimed her 100th win of her career, two of her players were named defensive player of the year and goalie of the year for the NE-10 conference, and their season is not over yet. When talking about all of her individual success, and the team’s success, Coach Lahey she kept referring back to how it all came down to her team being the biggest reason for this:

“It’s very hard to do anything as a coach if you don’t have the players behind you.”

In preseason, Coach Lahey said that she made it a point to set goals from early on, and made it a part of their preparation from the start. After beating the defending national champions, Westchester, in one of their opening games it was made clear that Assumption field hockey was going to be a major contender for the rest of the season. Because of COVID-19, and their season being cancelled last year, a lot of graduates came back to play another year, and they had the drive to push this team to where they wanted to be.

When asked if they had any struggles during the regular season, Coach Lahey talked about how the team just worked together to make sure they stayed on top of COVID-19 guidelines, because their season was a top priority. “We have had injuries, and long trips, but they have taken everything in stride and have been really resilient, and as a result they can put all of their effort into playing better and being one.”

Towards the end of the regular season, Coach Lahey won the award of the NE-10 field hockey coach of the year, and when asked how she was able to accomplish that she again referred back to her team, “They make it so easy for me…they buy into the messaging, and they are ready to walk on fire to get to the otherside. I think that is something I have been able to really trust…it is almost like it is their award.”

Junior forward, Christina Leonard, explained the mutual feelings of her and the team, “When she won it, I thought it was well deserved because we wouldn’t have been able to get as far as we did without her.”

Coach Lahey said that going from the regular season, and then going into playoffs she shockingly did not change her mindset, or game plan. She prepares her team the same way for every game with watching film on themselves, as well as dissecting their own film, and working on game scenarios in practice. She made it a point to not change up what they were doing since they were succeeding, instead she put all of her trust in her players that they will do their job on the field.

“We prepared for every game like it was our last. We didn’t take anyone lightly, which was beneficial to our success, and she (Coach Lahey) believed in us, and believed that our best could beat anyone else’s best,” said junior midfielder, Tori Geaglone.

After winning the NE-10 championship game, 3-2 against the Adelphi Panthers, Coach Lahey described how it did not register right away that they won the championship. She explained that it was a great feeling to win, and an even better feeling that her team had followed in her mindset with moving onto the next game:

“I will always move on to the next game, and we didn’t know when our next game would be. It felt really great…but I did not absorb it until 10 o’clock that night.”

Because of winning the NE-10 championship, Coach Lahey and her team earned a bye for the NCAA national championship tournament, putting them as the second seed into the final four. They will be playing on November 19th against the winner of the Westchester and Adelphi

game. “This team just loves to play…the benefit of getting a bye is to rest your body, but you can’t rest your mind.”

Going into the national championship games, Coach Lahey is putting an emphasis on outworking the other team, and that their best can beat the other team’s best. She wants the team to enjoy these moments, but also know that they are not done yet.

Coach Lahey looks back on what had the biggest influence on her own, as well as the team’s, success, “for me, it’s all of the players who have graduated, and how much they love their time that they spent here.” Knowing how much Coach Lahey cares about her team, it was to no surprise that she is getting a lot of support from her former players right from the start of the season until now, going into the NCAA national championship.

“That is such a big inspiration, that they (former players) had such a valuable experience. I know it resonates…I’m always motivated by what I see.”

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