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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Smyrna field hockey trying to turn the corner

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  • The Smyrna High School field hockey team is halfway through the season. And while its 2-5 record isn't necessarily indicative of where the team is, the Eagles still have some work to do to play better in the second half.
    Head coach Fran Strosser said the team has "been in every game" but really needs to get down to the basics and fundamentals in order to improve.
    "We're better than what our record indicates," Strosser said. "We lost two games in overtime. If it weren't for those, it'd be a whole different ballgame."
    The overtime loses Strosser references are the Eagles 2-1 loss Sept. 19 to Milford and Thursday's 3-2 loss to Seaford.
    Snapshot of the season
    The team's other three losses came against Sussex Tech (5-0), Delmar (6-0), and Dover (4-0). Smyrna defeated Indian River 1-0 and Sussex Central 1-0.
    Midway through the season, senior defender Jennifer Gray thinks the team is just now meshing together and is becoming a strong family.
    "We are getting better as the season goes on," she said.
    Hurting the Eagles in the first half are the injuries, Strosser said.
    "We're the walking wounded right now, which is putting a damper on things," Strosser said. "But it just means the other players need to step it up."
    Back to the basics
    Defense has been a strong point with seniors Jennifer Gray and Kelsey Carney playing well, Strosser said. But she said it all comes down to the basics and her players agree.
    Carney said the team works together well but there are a few things they need to work hard on at practice.
    Gray said the players need to talk to each other more and work on the little things they know but tend to forget come game time.
    Growing pains
    The varsity field hockey team lost a lot of players to graduation last year, and is sporting a lot of freshmen and sophomores on this year's team.
    One of the young guns on the team is sophomore Stacey Staley, who is in her second year on varsity.
    Staley thinks the team needs to work more as a group and pump each other up before games. Her experience on varsity last year has proved to be a big help this year.
    "Last year really helped me in learning the skills. Playing up helped me," Staley said. "I'm glad to be on varsity. I enjoy every bit of it."
    Page 2 of 2 - If the players works on their fundamentals such as dribbling, Staley said the team will improve in the second half: "I think if we really pick it up, we'll improve."
    Looking back on last year, Gray said there were a lot of seniors and that experience helped the team win. As the young teams gains more experience, Gray thinks they'll definitely win more games.
    "We're slowly getting where we need to be," Gray said.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.
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