Ending last season with an overall record of 14-6, 6-2 in A-10 play, VCU Field Hockey has undergone significant turnover, with seven incoming freshman looking to four seniors for leadership in 2018.
First-year head coach Stacey Bean was a booming success, leading the program to its highest win total since 1992.
Twin sisters — Svea Sturm and Maite Sturm — scored a combined 27 points last year. The sophomore midfielders from Waltrop, Germany, made for a dynamic duo.
Maite Sturm was named to the All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team, the NFHCA All-South Region Second Team, and All-Atlantic 10 Championship Team. She ranked fourth on the team in scoring with six goals and one assist. Svea Sturm was also named to the All-Atlantic 10 Rookie Team along with her sister, as well as the All-Atlantic 10 Second Team. Svea scored two game-winning goals and tied for the teams lead in shot on goal percentage at .714.
Four seniors will take on key leadership roles this season — Emily McNamara, Lauren Kaup, Jessica Mays, and Hannah Fox.
Forward Emily McNamara had the most playing time last season, scoring 51 points to set the school’s single-season record. McNamara was named A-10 Player of the Week three times during last years season and started all 20 games for VCU.
Forward Lauren Kaup appeared in all 20 games last season as well, earning 14 starts and scoring eight goals for The Black and Gold. Kaup scored the game-winning goal against the Longwood University Lancers in October and ended her junior year scoring three goals and adding two assists.
Midfielder Jessica Mays appeared in 16 games last season, recording four shots with three shots on goal and scoring a goal in the win against Davidson College.
Defender Hannah Fox started in all 20 games and helped the Rams earn six shutouts during the 2017 season.
The 2018 freshman class comes from all over the world with players coming from Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands.
Freshman Christina Zydzik and Sasha Elliott will take on goalkeeping duties after former goalkeepers Chessa Kownurko and Suzie Pileckas graduated.
Field hockey opens play Friday against Hofstra University, and the first home game is on Sept. 2 against American University at 1:00 p.m. followed by an away game Sept. 9 against the College of William & Mary.
Jessica Wetzler Sports Editor