Field hockey begins another season at 2 p.m. today at the CMU Field Hockey Complex against Robert Morris and at 1 p.m. Sunday with Missouri-St. Louis.
The Chippewas finished third in the Mid-American Conference last season, but ended the season in a 1-0 double overtime thriller that would have given the team a MAC title.
With seven seniors on the squad, the Chippewas hope leadership and experience will guide them to the MAC championship this season.
Head field hockey coach Cristy Freese said in an interview with cmuchippewas.com the veteran players are key early on in the season.
Freese is taking practice week by week, checking progress every Sunday. Nine sophomores will be returning for their second year and hope to guide the new freshmen who have joined the team.
Newly added Belgian international Maude Stalars hopes to have a big impact on the team. Stalars is a two-time gold medal winner in the National Indoor Championships and a gold and silver medal winner in the Outdoor Championships. Stalars also finished third in the EuroCup in 2012.
The team will have to be mentally strong, as it will play on the road for more than a month before returning home for its third home game. The away stint will start in Delaware and travel through Iowa and Maine before ending in Indiana.
Senior forward Bailey McKeon, the team leader in points last year with seven goals and four assists, is looking to surpass her play last season.
Another senior to watch is captain Simone Lazar. Lazar is the veteran leader in the back for CMU, and made her ambitions known in an interview with cmuchippewas.com, mentioning how badly she wants the MAC championship and how she plans on playing to the best of her ability in her senior season.
Senior forward Ellen Riley and senior midfielder Skylar VanNetta were named captains for the 2013 season.