Sweeney’s Experience in the Sphere of Field Hockey
“This team isn’t successful because of me. We have been successful because our coaching staff and our players work as one unit… Everyone works hard and wants to be successful,” says Head Field Hockey coach Carly Sweeney.
Sweeney is in her fifth season as Head Field Hockey Coach at Frostburg State University. So far this season, the Bobcats are 7-3 with a 6-game win streak that matched the previous season’s total wins. “The team supports one-another and all of the players want to be out there to help in any way they can, all for the love of the sport.”
Coach Sweeney grew up in in a town about an hour outside of Boston, Massachusetts called Gardner. This is where she gained a love for the sport of field hockey. “My mom was insistent that I tried out for the team and I’ve loved the sport ever since,” says Sweeney.
“Growing up I played softball and ran track as well.” Sweeney gained her initial coaching experience while she was still attending high school, helping out a local middle school team.
Shortly after, Sweeney attended Keene State where she would earn a degree in Film. She would eventually be offered a job as an assistant at her alma mater.
Sweeney would move to San Diego, California and coach at La Costa Canyon High School for 2 years.
“The sport evolves so much… rules change such as the way you can dribble the ball, stick rules… so I just focus on teaching key mechanics that players need to play the sport,” says Sweeney when asked about key principles that she transitioned from her playing career to her coaching career.
While in California, Sweeney had an opportunity to coach at the Olympic training center for the futures team. “The unique part of that experience was that all of the other coaches were actual members of the national team,” says Sweeney.
Sweeney received the opportunity because one of the assistant coaches at the college was a member of the team at the time. “When the opportunity came across, it was one I couldn’t pass up.”
The fifth year coach travels to Florida, California, and locally to recruit players that may want to play for Frostburg. “I love coaching at the Division III level; here we have players that are playing simply for the love of the sport… there are no scholarships in Division III sports so the players all play for the enjoyment.”
“It is challenging to find players that compliment the players you already have, and that can fit within the system that is already in place,” Sweeney explains.
The Bobcats had their first conference game against Salisbury cancelled the previous weekend due to the effects of Hurricane Joaquin. At press time, the team faced the challenge against conference opponent St. Mary’s and an away game at Lynchburg.
“Something we’ve been stressing is rest… We have an intense number of games coming up.” The Bobcats haven’t played since their September 30th victory against Bethany. The team hopes to earn a home game win against Shenandoah on Wednesday at 7:00 pm.