Bates Field Hockey 2018 Summer Newsletter

Hello Bobcat Friends and Family!

We hope as the summer arrives you are also starting to daydream of that perfect fall weather, and of course field hockey season! At Bates, the 2017-18 year has come to an end, which seems like a perfect time to look back at a phenomenal year, and look ahead at the 2018-19 academic year.

New Faces in 2017-18:

This season began with the addition of two new assistant coaches. Assisting Coach Ryder this past season were Katherine Bowie and Jennifer Brown. Katherine is an Augusta, ME native who played collegiate field hockey for Division I Siena College. She also previously spent a year as the assistant field hockey coach at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA. Jen is also a Mainer, hailing from Freeport, Maine. She played at DII Saint Anselm College, graduating in 2017. She was awarded the Women’s Charles J. Quinn Sportsmanship Award and was selected for the NFHCA Division II Senior Game. Both of these new assistants brought in a heavy defensive mindset underscoring Bates’ commitment to defense as the team’s foundation.

Also joining the Bobcats were six newcomers to the program. Putting on garnet and white for the first time last season were Lindsey Adriaansen of Doylestown PA, Elsbeth Caulo of Amherst NH, Emily Gianunzio fo Darien CT, Lily Nygren of Scarborough ME, Bridget Tweedie of Brownfield ME, and Meaghan Waldron of Darien CT.

2017 Season Recap:

The 2017 season was full of firsts for the Bates Field Hockey Program. The team enjoyed its second straight winning season in 2017, with a 9-7 overall record, and the program’s best record in NESCAC play (5-5) since 2002. The program also earned it’s third NESCAC Championship berth in the past three seasons. But this historical season sprouted from humbling beginnings.

The 2017 season started with five one goal losses in September. Behind these sets backs, the team remained focused and strong, determined to accomplish their goals. Hard work paid off in October with a 6-1 finish to the regular season, and an incredible three game stretch for the Bobcats that would make history. The second week in October included three wins against nationally ranked opponents including – Babson #2, Tufts #5 and Amherst #6. The stretch began with an overtime win against Babson on a Tuesday night, where the game was tied at 1-1 in regular time, but the Bobcats were able to capitalize 7 minutes into overtime for the win. The next battle was #5 Tufts, where Bates scored in the first five minutes and were able to put together a full 70 minutes to earn a 1-0 shutout. This was the first time Bates had defeated Tufts since 2002. Our week ended with another 1-0 win against #6 Amherst. It was an intense battle for most of the game, but the Bobcats were able to score within the last five minutes to earn another shutout on the weekend.

The hard work that the team put in this season earned the first ever NFHCA National top-20 ranking for Bates Field Hockey. It was perfectly fitting that this accomplishment landed in the same season that we celebrated our 50th year of becoming an intercollegiate program at Bates. Prior to 1967 Bates Field Hockey was not sponsored by the college as a varsity team and was a club program.

To celebrate, the team hosted a 50th anniversary tailgate, were we welcomed Alumnae spanning five decades! Some of those alumnae who played in ‘82 and ‘83 are the only other group of Bobcats to receive a national ranking, by the then governing body named the American Field Hockey Association.

The staff has been honored to recruit very passionate student-athletes to Bates who have been excited and motivated to make Bates field hockey one of the best programs in the country again, and in 2017 the team accomplished just that!


Introducing our 2018 Captains

Rising Senior Shelbie McCormack

Shelbie spent the winter semester in Florence, Italy. This was the ideal place for Shelbie, as she is studying art history and architecture here at Bates. Studying abroad in Italy has allowed her to travel Europe and see many of the buildings she has studied at Bates in person! She was also able to meet up with teammate Caroline Barnes’ 19 in Florence for an afternoon, who was studying abroad in Greece. Shelbie has been able to travel to multiple countries with her classes and with friends. Places that she has traveled outside of Italy include London, Vienna, Amsterdam. Inside of Italy she has traveled to Florence, Rome, Parma, Ravenna, Siena and Naples just to name a few!

Shelbie will be a Residence Coordinator in Hopkins House for the 2018/19 academic year. She and fellow teammate Adelae Durand ‘19 will also be Co-Presidents for the Special Olympics Club!

Rising Junior Grace Fitzgerald

Grace will be looking to anchor our midfield this coming season. She is a Chinese major on the pre-med track. Grace will be traveling to Beijing, China this summer to take part in an immersion program. This winter semester Grace enjoyed volunteering at Meadowview and at the Dodgeball tournament with the team!

Smart ‘Cats:

The season was not only a success for the program on the field, but in the classroom as well! Our team earned it’s 15th straight NFHCA National Academic Team honor. The team earned an average GPA of 3.4 this fall semester. In addition we amassed 12 students athletes on the Zag Field Hockey/ NFHCA National Academic Squad. The National Academic Squad includes student-athletes who have achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.30 through the first semester of the 2017–18 academic year.

Two academic highlights this year, came from seniors Sydney Beres and Caroline O’Reilly. Sydney ended her last field hockey season with a perfect fall GPA of 4.0, while classmate Caroline will heading abroad for a year in Spain with a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in hand.

‘Cats in the Community:

Throughout this year, our team continued to use our collective strength to give back and make a difference in our community. We hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness game in October, raising over $500 for the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and just over an additional $300 for  the Sam & Jennie Bennett Breast Cancer Center in Lewiston, Maine.

We also held our annual “Hockey for Hunger” game that raises funds for the Good Shepherd Food Bank of Maine, among many other events including a dodgeball tournament on campus that helped to collect canned goods for a local school’s food pantry. Lastly, we have enjoyed a new collaboration with Meadowview Park, a senior living community in Lewiston, Maine. We had a holiday party where we went caroling and hosted an ice cream social with the residents in March! The residents love to interact with our student athletes and hear about field hockey and their academics. To end the year the team was awarded the Student Award for Community Liaison Programming by the Harward Center. We could not be more proud of the team and their volunteering efforts!

In addition to community service, our first-years became “Green Dot” certified this past May, which helps spread awareness about how to keep our campus safe!

Bobcats Abroad

This past winter semester, six of our seven members of the Junior class went abroad – you may be familiar with their adventures from our #foreignfriday Instagram posts! This group spanned over six countries including Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Italy and Chile. Check out the photos below to see what these Bobcats have been up to around the world!

Field Hockey Abroad

Some of our Bobcats were able to participate in field hockey while abroad. Taylor and Emma were able to join a team through their University in Australia, and were able to play with men and women of all ages. They have learned that Aussies use different terminology for “flat” and “through” which, in Australia, is “square” and “straight” and that “shuttles” means “sprints.” We have shared some clips from their first game below!

In addition Shelbie was able to meet former teammate, Micha van der Lee, in her home country the Netherland and watch Micha in action!

We are so happy that our team has been able to learn from other hockey players around the world while promoting Bates field hockey all around the globe!

Alumni Spotlight

Shannon Beaton ’16

What are you doing now (after Bates)?

I am currently enrolled in a Teaching Fellowship Master’s Program, working to obtain my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. I am also teaching first grade in Newburyport, MA. I will be finishing up my Degree in May and could not be more excited!! I also coached field hockey this past fall, at my alma mater, alongside my Mom, who is the varsity head coach! It was a blast and made me miss playing at Bates sooo much!

What is your favorite memory as a Bobcat?

I honestly have so many amazing memories, but I would say one that particularly stands out to me, is when we beat Babson my senior year 1-0. Babson came into the game undefeated at 13-0 and were ranked #9 in the nation. It may have been an even sweeter win, as we beat one of my high school teammates… that was always a good feeling!!!

Another memory that stands out to me was during my sophomore year, Dani’s first year coaching, and our first NESCAC game of the season was against Tufts. The season before, we lost pretty badly to them, and Tufts was coming off an NCAA Championship win. We ended up losing to them 1-0. While it was a lose, I think there was so much to be proud of and for many of us we saw the success that was to come for the program.

How has Bates/ Bates Field Hockey helped you in your career?

I honestly would not be where I am today without Bates and the Field Hockey program. I spent my first year, in the real world, working as a recruiter and realized very quickly that it was not for me!  At Bates, I learned I truly love helping others and being a part of a community. While I always knew I wanted to teach, I promised myself I would give the corporate world a try. That didn’t last very long!!! I am so thankful that Bates instilled the importance of community in me, and because of that, my passion for teaching grew stronger! In both academics and field hockey, Bates challenged and forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. In addition to teaching, I am now coaching field hockey and I miss, more than ever, the days of being on the field. The passion, love and knowledge of field hockey that I learned at Bates makes me want to share the same passion, love and knowledge of the game with my players.

What do you miss the most about Bates?

I don’t even know where to start!! They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and this couldn’t be truer for me!!! The community that Bates fosters is unlike anything else. I miss the days that my friends and teammates would linger in Commons for way too long! Almost two years out and my girlfriends and I still text one another saying we wish we were sitting in Commons for Chicken Patty Satty or having Brad’s eggs. Most importantly though, I miss the people, I miss being a part of a team, and I miss playing field hockey!!!

Carolyn King ’07

What is your favorite memory as a Bobcat?

There are so many incredible memories from my four years at Bates, but all of my favorite ones revolve around the relatively mundane activities of spending time with friends. We used to go out to breakfast every Sunday morning to Bagels n’ Things (now a D’Angelos). I remember waking up to a group text and then someone jumping in a car and driving around campus picking all of us up at various dorms and heading out to breakfast.

How has Bates/ Bates Field Hockey helped you in your career?

Bates has helped me immensely in my career. The rigorous academic expectations and the emphasis on creative and critical thinking have been essential to me figuring out what I want to do and how to continue to have a positive impact on my community and the world. Bates Field Hockey and my experiences as a softball player at Bates created a space for me to really become myself. These experiences introduced me to life-long friends and taught me great physical and mental lessons related to sport including competition, motivation, leadership, preparation, time management among many other invaluable skills. As a collegiate field hockey coach, I owe my start in coaching to former Bates Head Coach Wynn Hohlt who took me on as a volunteer after I graduated. I learned how valuable being on a team and playing a sport in college can be. I’m lucky to say I still get to share that experience every day with my own student-athletes.

What do you miss the most about Bates?

I miss the people. I miss bus rides to games with my teammates, marathon dinners in Commons with friends and spending all hours of the night in Pettengill working on papers and studying for tests as if our lives depended on the outcome. Thankfully, I am still deeply connected to my former teammates who are now and always will be some of the most important people in my life.

Sydnee Goddard ’84

What is your favorite memory as a Bobcat?

As most students I teach usually say, my favorite memories as a bobcat revolve around friendship. Karen Palermo Saxena and I became friends at Bates through running. We would head off on long runs together on Sundays. Some of my best friendships, and that includes my husband, are formed over the conversations that flow on long runs. Karen and I are still the best of friends and enjoy the many times we’ve been able run together over the years, despite her living in California and me in New Hampshire.

How has Bates/ Bates Field Hockey helped you in your career?

Playing on Bates Field Hockey team was an outlet for my energy and love of sport. I was a pretty driven student and needed to let off steam on the field. I would run before or after practice. That was what I needed…and actually still need. In terms of life lessons, it nurtured my self-confidence. We had a successful team and I was one of a few freshman to make the team. However, during my first preseason I didn’t feel too great about my chances when I had that first meeting with Coach Yak, the captains, and the other freshman. I still recall feeling like everyone else already knew the coach and had things figured out. I don’t think I ever even contacted Sherry prior to that meeting. I was from a small town and playing sports in college was something I assumed I’d do but didn’t know any of the game rules. When I made the team and then had lots of playing time in that first season and was one of the leaders in goal scoring that helped me feel successful and competent. I think this is what sports do for many woman, give them strength and confidence.

What do you miss the most about Bates?

When I’d visit my son (Elon University ’16) and daughter (Bowdoin ’17) at school, I yearned to be back in the classroom.  As a biology teacher, a field which is ever growing, I am forced to learn.  I find that exciting.  I loved learning at Bates and think I would go back to being a student in minute.  The exciting educational opportunities out there now are just amazing.  I don’t think students realize how lucky they are to be at schools like Bates, with fabulous support, facilities, and professors.  I love when I get to turn it around and get to be a student again during conferences or other profession development experiences.

Forever Bobcats!

The end of the academic year, also means a new round of official Bobcat Alumnae. In 2018 we waved farewell to Coach Ryder’s first graduating recruiting class. These five have seen the program through many remarkable milestones. Their hard work, dedication, and grit will forever shape future Bobcats. All five leave Bates with incredible work and graduate school opportunities, and we can not wait to see what they do next! Thank you for giving us so much of your time over the last four years!

Our 2018 graduates! From left to right, Alyssa Alexander, Caroline O’Reilly, Sydney Beres, Lauren Foster, and Samantha Reiss.

How you can help support Bates Field Hockey

The generosity of our parents, alumni, and fans has been tremendous over the years. All gifts directly impact our student athletes and provide them with the resources they need to be successful. The 2017 season marked another successful season with many firsts for the Bates Field Hockey team, and much of our success can be directly linked to gifts made through Friends of Bates Athletics and our Bates Field Hockey Goal Club. Through your support we are able to increase our team travel budget, provide the team with a strength and conditioning coach, connect our team with the organization Athlete Assessment, and improve their overall experience with the smallest gestures such as team dinners and team bonding activities!
To make a gift in support of Bates Field Hockey you can give online at Just indicate “Field Hockey” in the comments section. Thank you for your support of Bates Field Hockey!
All my best for a wonderful 2018–19 year!

Dani Ryder