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Winning runs in the family

Lucy Kauffman followed in her sister’s footsteps by capturing a field hockey national championship

By Lucy Kauffman, as told to Alexia Grevious

Kauffman, an Elite 89 winner from Shippensburg University, looks back on her team’s run to the Division II field hockey championship last fall:

Field hockey has been a part of my life for a long time. I began playing because my sister, Danielle, played. Years later, we both were able to experience the excitement of an NCAA national championship.

We went undefeated throughout the entire regular season – beating tough teams and rivals – and headed into the conference tournament with complete confidence.

Then we lost the conference championship.

The game was close throughout, but Millersville came out on top. We knew we had to head into the postseason with more determination and focus than ever. Despite the loss, our team’s bond was one of the strongest I had ever experienced.

Initially, we were able to breeze through the postseason. I had an amazing experience at the semifinal banquet when it was announced that I had won the sport’s Elite 89 award. After the festivities, though, we had to face the ghost from our past: Millersville. The team that soiled our perfect record was our opponent for the semifinal.  

We were able to channel our frustration from the previous game and went on to defeat them 3-1. As wonderful as that win was, we all knew our job wasn’t finished. We studied the film of our final opponent, Long Island University-Post, focusing on the tiniest details. On the day of the game, we walked into a stadium full of familiar faces and cheering fans. Nerves were high.  

The entire game was extremely close and went into overtime. I remember being exhausted, but I reminded myself that I had to give my best for the team to finish out the game. Bre White’s penalty stroke that sealed the game – the joy was overwhelming.

After years of watching my sister get to the final four and win two national championships with the University of Maryland, it felt good to stand victorious on the field as she rooted for me from the stands.