The 2015 Lock Haven University Field Hockey team finished a strong season with a 15-5 record last November. In a loaded schedule that included a huge, program-win over Penn State, many would say that is a solid season.
This year’s team has aspirations of taking that one step further. Senior goalkeeper Paige Stuppy is at the forefront of it all.
She thinks they can win it all.
Coming off of an awesome weekend trip in Virginia, sweeping both Virginia Commonwealth and Richmond, Stuppy was again the center of attention.
She only allowed one goal in Lock Haven’s 2-1 win over VCU last Friday and she saved her encore performance for Sunday.
Stuppy only allowed one goal, made 10 saves, and led the Bald Eagles to a thrilling 2-1 shootout win over Richmond.
The senior’s performance didn’t go unnoticed, as Stuppy was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week following this past weekend.
“A big weekend like that, getting two solid A-10 wins, I think that put so much confidence under our belts going into the rest of the A-10 schedule,” said Stuppy.
“We’ve always had a rivalry with Richmond and we’ve gone back and forth every year since we’ve been here. Getting that big win under our belt really propels us forward.”
Being a goalie, the preparation going into every game is more extensive than other positions on the field.
Stuppy owns a 1.40 goals-against average while starting in all eight games and leading the Bald Eagles to a 5-3 start to the season.
“For myself, for a goalie, it’s a lot,” she said. “A lot of it is mental, you have to be prepared mentally going into every game knowing how to move your defense and seeing just how the game plays and stuff like that.”
“It’s a lot of mental preparation as well as physical.”
While achieving success on the field hockey field, Stuppy also takes plays softball at Lock Haven. It would seem to be a difficult task, juggling two sports plus academics and still finding a way to succeed.
Stuppy will tell you that it’s not as difficult as it comes across. As an outfielder for the Lock Haven Softball team, Stuppy drove in 10 runs in 2016 while hitting six doubles.
“They don’t really conflict as much as people would think they would,” Stuppy said.
“One thing that is really great about it is that I have coaches that are very understanding, very positive, and both coaches support me. During field hockey season, softball supports me and vice versa.”
Lock Haven gets the benefit of a little home-cookin’ this weekend as they host two A-10 matchups against Saint Francis on Friday at 3 p.m. and Saint Louis at 11 a.m. on Sunday, both at Charlotte Smith Field.
“We just need to keep playing as a unit and really go into this week’s practice back in that mindset of we’re here to win and beat everybody,” said Stuppy.
“Winning the A-10, I think it can happen this year.”
Having a sense of togetherness is always a big part of winning, both on and off the field. That is the key underlying part to Lock Haven’s surge to start the season. According to Stuppy, the chemistry on the team is at a top-notch level.
“Everybody on this team, it’s a great group of girls, we’re all very close-knit. Everybody just wants to be there, everybody just wants to work hard, and everybody just wants to win. That’s the key to how our team works.”
Those are the exact words you would hope to hear from your senior goalkeeper.
“I think this team, more than any team I’ve been on, can go all the way this year.”