August 26 – BETHANY, W.Va. – With the arrival of new head coach Kylie Hrehor, the Bison field hockey team will look to continue to ascend as a program and build upon their promising youth.
Hrehor, who arrives after a season at Wells College, is looking to develop team chemistry and continue to push the program in the right direction.
“We will have a very team-oriented cohesive unit both on and off the field,” said Hrehor.
Offensively the Bison saw vast improvement a season ago, as they doubled their goal output in 2013 as compared to 2012. This year they will be led by juniors Taylor Solomon (Beltsville, Md./Elizabeth Seton) and Courtney Gill (Little Egg Harbor, N.J./Pinelands Regional) as well as sophomores Latisha Cuffee (Virginia Beach, Va./Green Run) and Natalie Knauer (West Deptford, N.J./Gateway Regional).
Solomon, who started all 14 games last season, led the Bison in both points (14) and goals (6). Coach Hrehor is excited about Solomon’s attacking potential and is looking for her to become one of the leaders of the team.
“T.J. (Taylor Solomon) brings great experience and we’re really going to lean on her ability as well as her leadership skills this season.”
Gill, who logged 14 starts last season, was also an effective player, notching four goals and eight points. Coach Hrehor feels that Gill may play one of the more pivotal roles on the team this year.
“Midfield is a position that requires a lot of conditioning because you’re expected to play both sides of the field,” remarked Hrehor. “Courtney has arrived to camp in great shape and we are really confident that using her experience, she will provide excellent decision making at the midfield position.”
Cuffee and Knauer, who combined to played in 25 contests a season ago, are also going to be counted on to bolster the offense. “Both are important pieces to the team,” added Hrehor. “We like the speed Cuffee plays with and we’re looking for Natalie to attack the net as much as possible.”
Sophomore Lauren Rao (North Tonawanda, N.Y./Sweet Home), who scored three goals last season, is also expected to contribute on the offensive end of the field.
The Bison defense also saw major improvement as they allowed 60 less goals last season as compared to the 2012 campaign. With the likes of Cuffee and junior Courtney Snyder (Bristol, Pa./Bristol), Coach Hrehor anticipates the defense to continue to improve and make life tough on opposing offenses.
“They have great communication and a real desire to learn as a unit,” said Hrehor. “Moving from a zone defense to more of a man-to-man takes time, but they are willing to put in the time and are picking it up nicely.”
Others who will see time on the defensive end include junior Racheal Nolen (Union Bridge, Md./Walkersville) and freshmen Hunter Webster (Newark, Del./Newark) and Erin Cunningham (Fredericksburg, Va./James Monroe).
The goalkeeping position will be manned by sophomore Tiffany McCary (Hanover Township, Pa./Hanover). Coach Hrehor is confident in her ability and looks for her to have a solid season.
“Tiffany has a ton of potential and she has been working extremely hard this camp,” replied Hrehor of her first-year goalkeeper.
Bethany will open the season on Friday, August 26, as they play host to Goucher College. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.