As the 2010 season approaches, the Staples field hockey team is looking to surpass last year's 5-6-1 record of 5-6-1. Although its roster is about 10 girls smaller than last year, the team is excited and hungry to win.

"We also are really shooting for a winning record this year, because last year we were just so close," said Captain Erica Gendell.

Staples is led by senior captains Jenn Hoets, Elizabeth Driscoll and Gendell. In addition to a winning record, it plans on advancing past the first round of the FCIAC and Class L tournaments.

To achieve this, the team will practice on the field and continue to do body blast training with Courtney Wall a few times a week to stay in condition.

"Our team is really playing to win this year. From our goalie to our center, everyone is hungry to play and prove something," said Lady Wreckers Coach Cecily Cowburn.

Although the team lost significant seniors, including midfielders Kat Strage and Lucy Goss, defender Jess Davis and forward Amanda Stewart, the returning and new team members are ready to fill their shoes.

"Our Captains, Elizabeth Driscoll, Erica Gendell, and Jenn Hoets are all returning defensive starters and they, along with junior Caroline Kearney, are a reliable defensive as well as offensive force. Returning junior starters, Callie Hiner and Misha Strage, along with junior Emily Ashken and senior Hannah Bjornson have the stick skills and game sense to make our midfield the true cornerstone to our team. Senior Ellen Kaminski has taken newcomers, sophomores Jackie Lawrence and Shelby Phares under her wing and showing us one of the strongest forward lines in years," said Cowburn.

Having such a young team inspires vigor in all the players and is not expected to hinder the team's success.

"We will achieve success by working hard on and off the field and remembering that when we wear these jerseys, we are a family and despite how many upperclassmen we graduated, the younger girls are just as fantastic as the ones who left. I honestly believe the youth on this team is going to take us farther than ever before," said Hoets.

The season looks promising and Driscoll is impressed with the team's hard work, which the girls will endure throughout the season's practices and games. The team wants to bond and continue to work together to be successful.

"We have a true balance of experience on our team and I know that is what makes us unique. They younger players give us energy and drive, and our more seasoned players give us confidence and pride," said Cowburn.

And for the fans, the game is about to get faster. There is a new "self start rule," which means the player is no longer required to pass to another teammate to start play, but she can pass to herself.

"For those of you that hate the whistles of field hockey, you'll love how fast this makes the game," said Cowburn.