Senior captain of the Fairfield University field hockey team Malen Iglesias has played an integral role in the success of the team this season. So far, the team has an overall record of 10-7. After wrapping up their regular season with two final games on Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, the team will be participating in the Northeast Conference championship during the first weekend of November after winning the regular season title 5-0 at Merrimack College. The Stags remain 6-0 in conference play.
Iglesias started playing field hockey when she was seven years old in Argentina. She shared with The Mirror some of her favorite memories during her time playing field hockey at Fairfield.
“My favorite memory is beating American University in the opening round of the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] tournament in 2019 after winning our conference championship,” she said. “It was the first time we won an NCAA game in program history and we were lucky enough to host that game.”
Iglesias sees the Fairfield field hockey program as family.
“To me field hockey means family,” she said. “I have met my best friends playing this sport and I will always be thankful for the connections I’ve made while playing.”
This feeling of family has supported Iglesias throughout her time at school as she had not seen her dad in nine months. However, this past week, her dad surprised her during a practice. During his visit here, he was able to see her play field hockey in a Fairfield uniform in person for the first time.
“Having him in the stands during the game was very comforting and motivating,” she said.
During her time playing, Iglesias has found that “playing field hockey here at Fairfield is feeling like [she’s] a part of something bigger than [herself].”
“I get to step on the field, every day with my best friends and I get to do what I love,” Iglesias said.
The tie she feels to Fairfield field hockey will remain with her even after she graduates from Fairfield and one of the things she will miss most will be “the adrenaline [she gets] when [she] steps on the field in a Fairfield uniform.”
The field hockey team is led by head coach Jackie Kane and assistant coaches Steve Dennis, Dani Brown and Euan Brown. This season is the first full season the team will have played since 2019.
Conditioning during preseason over the summer had been crucial for the team and served as a quick turnaround after their last season finished in April.
Iglesias felt as though the adjustment period for the team was a bit difficult at first while everyone adjusted to their new course schedules.
“The first few weeks of the semester were a little rough as we had to get back into the swing of things and get used to our busy schedules,” she said. “As we got closer to conference play, we were able to turn it around and we are now back to the level we wanted to be at.”
Junior Madison Hoskins shared a similar sentiment to Iglesias.
“I feel like we play even harder due to the fact we lost a year and we want to win the championship,” Hoskins emphasized.
The team’s roster consists of one graduate, nine seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and seven first-years.
As the team has been cohesive this season on and off the field, they will continue to play to the best of their ability in the upcoming NEC playoff matches.
Their first playoff game will be Friday, Nov. 5 against Rider University on Staten Island.