Eastern's field hockey team may not have a winning season or return to the Little East Conference playoffs, let alone win their first conference tournament championship, but Erika Malito, tri-captain from Killingly, says the team's hard work and teamwork is making this a rewarding season anyway. While this year's team will likely finish under .500 for the fourth time in her career, Malito insists that the team chemistry, persistence and work ethic is the best that she's experienced at Eastern.
"We work really hard," points out the psychology major, who feels that coaching field hockey at some level is in her future. "We have two-hour practices every day, we watch film to see what we need to do to improve and we try to work on that at practice." After winning only one of 11 conference matches in 2010, the Warriors are still searching for their first LEC victory of 2011 after half of the 11-game regular-season conference schedule. It will likely take 4-5 wins in the final six conference matches to bring the team its first conference playoff berth in seven years.
Head Coach Christine Hutchison praises Malito for her role in elevating the team's play over the past several seasons. "Erika has been a great captain because she's positive and cares about the team on and off the field. She works hard to get everyone involved and to get everyone to improve themselves as teammates in the off-season and in practice. She pushes her teammates to reach the next level."
(For more news about Eastern athletics, visit www.easternct.edu/athletics.)