Rachel Madden, Staff Writer

Hello, my name is Rachel Madden and I am a sophomore on the Immaculata University Field Hockey team. Our 2023 season was very competitive, going 8-11 for the season and 4-2 in the American East conference. This was the second straight season that our Mighty Macs team made it to the semi-finals of the conference playoffs. We won our first playoff game as the three seed against a tough Gwynedd Mercy team and then lost a heartbreaker in the semi-finals to nationally ranked Marywood University.  The Mighty Macs broke some records this year by beating Cabrini University (1-0) for the first time since 2010. Also, this was the first time ever that the Mighty Macs earned the right to play a home conference playoff game.  

I had the opportunity to interview Junior Captain Kaitlin Gale and Sophomore Gabrielle Munge, two team members on the Macs Field hockey team. During my interview with Gabrielle Munge I asked, “What was your favorite memory from the 2023 season?” she went on to say, “My favorite memory of the 2023 season was definitely beating Cabrini! We haven’t beat them in years and it was an incredible game. We scored with 13 seconds left on a corner!”. Additionally, Gabrielle commented, “When we scored our game winning goal against Cabrini, it was a wonderful feeling knowing that we could compete and win against top tier teams.”  

The Mighty Macs were led by three captains, Junior Kaitlin Gale, Senior Lauren Vanderbraak, and Senior Lauren Buckel this season. I interviewed Kaitlin Gale by asking, “What are your thoughts on the team dynamic this year? Did you feel like it was different than any other season?” She went on to comment, “Yes, I definitely think the team dynamic was different this year. We grew together as a team and pushed each other to compete at a high level.” Gale went on to say, “The field hockey team has had a few rough seasons with team dynamics and this year showed we have all changed. Everyone got closer and learned to set aside any differences. We all had our priorities straight this year. Overall, we turned into a great team and had great team chemistry.”  I definitely agree with Kaitlin that this year’s team dynamic was better than any other season and the connections were strong.

To conclude, the Mighty Macs had a very successful season where we reached many of our goals, set new records and learned to play as a team! The hard work we put in during practices made us competitive against all of our opponents.  Our success was directly attributed to our head coach Kate Stopford, and her assistants Meredith Katona, and Ashley O’Donnell.

Go Macs!!