The Lehigh field hockey seniors wave goodbye to Ulrich field after winning their first Patriot League title in 28 years and competing in the NCAA tournament for the first time in Lehigh field hockey history this season.
Senior Sarah Bonthuis said securing the conference title was one of her favorite memories on the team.
She said becoming champions is a reflection of four years of hard work and their performance exceeded everyone’s expectations.
As Bonthuis prepares to graduate, she encourages her team to enjoy every moment of their time as a Mountain Hawk because it’s going to fly by, just as many people told her.
“When you’re a senior, you realize that every single game you play, every single time you go to school, it’s getting closer to the end,” Bonthius said.
After graduation, Bonthuis will pursue a master’s degree in managerial business at Duke University and play on the field hockey team for the Blue Devils in her fifth-year of athletic eligibility.
Senior goalkeeper Maddie Kahn said she is excited for graduation, but feels bittersweet as her whole life is about to change.
She will also play as a fifth-year Tar Heel for the defending national champions University of North Carolina, who were undefeated this past season. At UNC, she will pursue a master’s degree in applied professional studies.
When asked about her favorite team moments during her time at Lehigh, Kahn said the first thing that comes to mind is the Patriot League Championship win, but she is also thankful for the little moments.
“I’m really grateful for the people that I got to overlap with and the friends that I was able to make and hopefully keep in touch with,” Kahn said. “I also think some of the best memories are the away games—like being paired up with a roommate and just talking with them or ordering bubble tea or Insomnia Cookies as a team.”
Kahn said she is thankful to everyone she had the opportunity to play with at Lehigh.
Bonthuis gave thanks to her teammates and coaches who she said allowed her to make the best memories someone could ever make in college. She said wrapping up her career with a league championship is the best way to end her time at Lehigh.
“As a senior class, we’ve just had such an interesting journey, building through everything that we’ve experienced with COVID,” Bonthuis said. “Turning losing seasons into winning seasons and then ending it with the Patriot League Championship is the cherry on top. I think that is just something so special and honestly something we’ll never forget in our lives.”
Junior Abbie Brown said the seniors were influential through her leadership development at Lehigh.
Brown said, with her class coming onto the team during COVID, she doesn’t think they would have gotten through their first year without the seniors.
“They left on such a high note, and I think they deserve all of it,” Brown said. “I’m just so excited for their futures because I know they’re all gonna do such great things.”