HOCKEY PREVIEW: Sophomore Duo Going For It All
Carpenter And Field Didn't Miss A Beat During Last Year, And The Pair Can Push BC To The Next Level
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
The Boston College national champion men’s ice hockey team is not the only team on the Heights that is going into this upcoming season with very high expectations for its former freshman studs. Alex Carpenter and Emily Field, who more than mirrored last year’s freshman performance from Johnny Gaudreau’s 27-point (13 goals, 14 assists) season, are entering this year with high hopes for the Eagles.
Last year, Carpenter led the Eagles in scoring with an astounding 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists), with Field close behind, having recorded 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists). These incredible statistics are something that almost any player would be more than happy to look back on, but Carpenter and Field are simply not satisfied by one great year, and instead are using their performances as motivation.
“Personally, speaking for both of us, we always want to get better,” Field stated in regard to the two players’ desire to produce this season. “Last year was great, but that was last year, and we have a whole new year ahead of us to do what we did last year and more. We just want to never relax and say, ‘Last year we did this.’ It’s a new year. We have to prove where we’re at.”
Carpenter and Fields attribute a lot of their successes, stepping onto the ice at the collegiate level and producing immediately, to two major factors: the friendly competition that the two linemates have with one another, and the preparation that playing for USA Hockey and their respective prep schools gave them. It’s very apparent that competition and a desire to improve is what drive these two sophomore stars every time they lace up their skates.
“We’re always competing against each other, but it’s in a fun way,” Field said. “It’s not like, ‘I scored more than you.’ It’s, ‘I shot here, can you do that?’ We just joke around with it, we never let it get too serious, but we’re always competing with one another. We compete with other lines, as well. I think a lot of it is we both, Alex and I, played at higher levels, whether it was with USA camps, and we played on the Under 18 team together. I think a lot of it is just playing on a higher level with other girls, so when you came here all the girls were at the higher level so we were a little bit used to it, to some degree I’d say.”
Both Field and Carpenter used their prep school experiences to prepare for more than just hockey, however. The sophomores also take academics very seriously.
“I think playing at prep school also helped, academically, being able to come in here and kind of knowing the academics and getting a feel for it, it wasn’t as hard a transition to college as you would think,” Field said.
As this upcoming year gets going, head coach Katie King Crowley has very high expectations for both Field and Carpenter. The offseason workouts put in by the two players, she believes, are going to show some major improvements and a level of growth far bigger than their jump from high school to their freshman years, especially when it comes to their speed.
“We can tell already from their summer workouts that they’ve both gotten physically stronger, and I honestly think they’re both faster,” Crowley said. “I think that a lot of people see Field as really, really fast and Carpenter, she’s not seen as very fast but I’ll tell you what, that kid’s got some wheels. So, to watch both of them with their speed has been impressive, and I do think that both of them have gotten faster than what they were last year.”
Other than the necessary and impressive growth that Crowley has seen out of Field and Carpenter, she has also been very impressed with the way the two have set a new standard for the six incoming freshmen, both on and off the ice. The desire to improve is becoming contagious for the Eagles.
“Hopefully [Carpenter and Field’s success] gives [the incoming freshmen] something to shoot for,” Crowley said. “I think our kids, from seniors to freshmen, are so competitive right now. They want to see this program get to the next level. I think that’s what the most fun part about seeing these kids so far at the beginning of this season is, that they all want that, and they all have a common goal where they want to, as a group, vie for that national championship game—and I think the freshmen coming in want that too, just as much as everyone else. They’ll strive to have great seasons, and I think that they’ll continue to carry on that tradition of being a great freshman class and trying to step up our program.”
As Carpenter and Field move to their sophomore seasons and their expectations mount, it’s clear that the pressures the two might face could mount as well. Crowley and the sophomore sensations welcome any necessary pressures and above all else, consider the pressure they put on themselves as the biggest burdens they have.
“I think the only pressure we have is the pressure we put on ourselves,” Carpenter said. “I think we’re both pretty satisfied with what we did last year, but [the pressure] is mostly just in our heads. If we think we have to do better than last year, then we will, but I don’t think it’s a lot of negative pressure. It’s mainly what we expect of ourselves and what our teammates expect of us, as well.”
As if the preparation that the two have put in wasn’t enough of an indicator for a successful upcoming season, Field and Carpenter were able to pick up right where they left off last year at Friday night’s season opener between the Eagles and their rival Boston University. Field was able to collect a pass from Carpenter to find the back of the net for her first tally of the season. A mere 2:46 later, Field was able to add to her season total with an assist on the power play. The growth these two have shown over the course of their time at BC has not been lost on Crowley.