Fourth-year forward Danielle Conklin has set a single-season record for SUNY New Paltz field hockey in both goals and points after scoring four goals and five points in games last week against Stevens Institute of Technology and Rowan University.
Conklin broke Patricia Erickson’s 2004 single-season program record of 16 goals and Sarah Schloss’ 2009 single-season record of 36 points.
“To me, it means that everything that I have been working toward for the past four years is paying off,” Conklin said. “It is a huge accomplishment and something I am really proud of.”
Conklin has scored 19 goals and recorded 46 points this season to set the new record. In addition, she is currently ranked 11th in NCAA Div. III in goals per game and points per game, according to NCAA.com.
“What she has accomplished is not easy,” Head Coach Shanna Vitale said. She added that Conklin is also “fairly close to breaking the program’s record for overall career goals.”
Conklin said she never came into the season with the mindset to break records, but as a returning fourth-year player, she pushed herself knowing this is her last season to compete and be the best.
“I’ve been preparing myself since the end of last year’s season,” Conklin said. “The physical and mental training never stops. I continued to keep myself in shape during the winter and spring and worked even harder over the summer to prepare myself for preseason.”
Third-year midfielder and defender Deirdre O’Neill said she was’t surprised by Conklin setting a new single-season record.
“She had an amazing year last season and I know it left her hungry for this season,” O’Neill said. “It is exciting for us to have a player with such great skill and playing against and with her only makes us better.”
Vitale said Conklin is the Lady Hawks’ “offensive threat,” able to create and capitalize on opportunities by way of her explosiveness with the ball which makes her difficult to defend.
Relentless and aggressive playing in the circle is the key to attacking and scoring, Conklin said.
“It’s important to be poised and have control of the ball and also be aware of your options,” she said. “Having my teammates working hard and hustling right next to me has also put me in the position that I am in today. We all play for each other.”
Conklin said the team aims to work as a unit rather than focus on an individual, a mindset Vitale said showed when Conklin broke the single-season record.
“As a whole, when she accomplished that, we felt as a team we accomplished something,” Vitale said.
Conklin said by setting a new record, she set a new standard to be reached by both herself and the team.
“It makes me want to push myself even harder in order to accomplish more and set the bar high,” Conklin said.
Conklin and the Lady Hawks will take the field again Friday Oct. 25 and Saturday Oct. 26 against No. 16 SUNY Cortland and SUNY Oswego.