AIC Field Hockey Season Ends, Team Reflects on Next Year


Chelsea Lombardo, Staff Writer

After finishing up an eighteen game season, the American International College Yellow Jackets field hockey team wraps up their 2015 season with a 4-14 overall record, five graduating seniors, and a hopeful look ahead at the future of the 2016 team.

The Yellow Jackets’ season ended Saturday, October 31, with a nail biting 2-1 win on home turf against the Mercy Mavericks. The game was both teams’ last game for the 2015 season.

To wrap up the season the Yellow Jackets said goodbye to their five graduating seniors. Erica McLean, Kaylin Harbin, Emily Kollar, Ainslee Penfield, and Erin Maroney will all be missed by their fellow teammates in the upcoming season. But what is it that lies ahead for the ladies of the AIC field hockey team?

After finishing 4-14 overall and 2-10 in the NE-10 conference, the Yellow Jackets must take a look back at this season to reflect on the negatives, and the positives of the 2015 season.

This season, the Yellow Jackets will graduate their two stellar senior captains, McLean and Harbin.

After the loss of Kaylin Harbin, the team will have big shoes to fill. Harbin, a captain in her senior year, has played almost every minute of every game in 2015, recording a 1,240-minute season. This year alone Harbin was responsible for breaking the AIC penalty stroke record, going 9 for 9 on strokes in her four year career in a Yellow Jackets uniform.

In her junior year, Harbin registered two goals tying a single-season record with seven assists for eleven points. She also started all twenty games of the 2014 season.

Harbin graduates in the spring of 2016, but has not played in her last college field hockey game yet. Harbin will represent AIC in the annual NFHCA senior game on November 21, at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania.

Playing alongside Harbin in the NFHCA annual senior game, is her co-captain, Erica McLean.

Erica “Nugget” McLean has been a huge part of the AIC field hockey team in her four years as a Yellow Jacket. In 2015 alone, McLean has recorded five goals, and five assists and started in all eighteen games of the season.

In her junior and sophomore year, McLean was named to the Northeast-10 All Conference second team, scoring a combination of eight goals and registering nine assists in the 2014 and 2013 seasons.

Harbin and McLean, both midfielders, will be huge losses for the Yellow Jackets. Both girls exemplified excellent leadership qualities both on and off the turf. They will be missed greatly.

Returning to the team in the 2015 season was assistant coach Linsey Fernandes. In her days as a Yellow Jacket, Fernandes, a midfielder, was (and remains) AIC’s only three time All-American. Starting in 74 games of her four seasons in black and yellow, she recorded nine goals, and eleven assists, racking up twenty-nine points.

Coach Fernandes had a few words to say about the 2015 season.

“Although expectations were high coming into the season after a great run last year, this was a building year for AIC field hockey,” Fernandes said.

“We had a very young team that stepped up and performed well, however, the lack of years on the girls reflected in our ability to finish. Our record may not be a reflection of this, but we came up just a little short in the majority of our competitions – including losing 1-0 to Adelphi that finished on top,” Fernandes added.

“Now that our season had completed, we know our strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement moving forward into our spring season.”

Her outstanding skill is what the young ladies of the AIC field team look to admire and mirror in their time here as Yellow Jackets. Fernandes has a wise vision of the field, and a positive outlook at all times. She has and will continue to be a wonderful asset to the team in her hopeful many years to come at AIC.

With the loss of five seniors, the team can only take a step back to look at what they now have. With nine freshmen, seven sophomores and five juniors left on the 2015 team, the girls must continue to work together as a unit to be successful in the upcoming 2016 season.