The Bridgewater State University women’s field hockey team has set up a stonewall in net this season. Or at least, it looks like a stonewall.
Senior goaltender Kacie Sturgeon has played at an all-time level this season, leading the Lady Bears to a 14-3 record.
Sturgeon leads the Little East Conference (LEC) in shutouts, goals against average and save percentage. If that wasn’t enough, Sturgeon leads NCAA Division III in save percentage and is fifth in goals against average.
Just this season alone Sturgeon has been named LEC Goalkeeper of the Week seven times and Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week twice.
“I don’t try and focus on that,” Sturgeon said. “I just try and play the game. I’m not trying to get awards but it’s nice to be recognized.”
In her fourth season in a Lady Bear’s uniform, Sturgeon only began starting games midway through last season.
“Right from the start she was a hard worker,” said head coach Erika Smith. “She was eager to learn and to be the best. She wanted to work really hard to earn the starting spot so right away I noticed her hard work.”
Senior forward and captain Carissa Vizakis has played with Sturgeon for two years at Bridgewater State, but saw what Sturgeon could do in net back in their high school days.
“It’s been so challenging to go up against her as an offensive player because she’s just so good,” said Vizakis. “I’d much rather have her with me than against me. We always joke about how tough it is in practice because we can never score on her.”
During the Lady Bears’ 11 game winning streak, which was snapped in a 4-3 overtime loss to Wheaton College on Tuesday night, Sturgeon only allowed four goals, and even though she said she doesn’t focus on all the accolades she has been receiving, her teammates feel the recognition was a long time coming.
“I was so happy for her,” Vizakis said. “It’s so well deserved because she’s worked so hard for four years. She just was determined, worked hard and earned every single award she’s gotten so far and I’m sure she’ll get plenty more.”
Sturgeon has been one of the main forces in the winning streak the Lady Bears are currently experiencing.
“She’s absolutely determined to not let the ball go in the net, she’s absolutely determined to do whatever it takes to get the win,” Smith said. “I think her determination is one of the main reasons why we’ve been winning.”
With the regular season coming to a close soon, all the success for Sturgeon has been nice, but she said she wants to accomplish more as a team.
“I mean it would be nice to go to NCAAs and win our conference,” said Sturgeon. “But my overall goal is to have the best season that we can.”
Sturgeon and the rest of the Lady Bears will play again on November 2 at Plymouth State University in their final regular season game at 12 p.m.
Emily Hayes is a Comment sports writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.