BETLHLEHEM, Pa. - The 2012 Lehigh field hockey senior class has advanced to two Patriot League Tournaments in their careers, including last season when they finished with a 3-2 league mark for the first time since 2007. This year, the Mountain Hawks defeated a CAA team for the first time since 2006 while scoring their most goals since 2004 in that contest. Lehigh also topped perennial NEC power Monmouth for the first time since ’05 in a thrilling 2-1 victory. Off the field, this class has been just as impressive, making their mark in both the classroom and local community. With Senior Day rapidly approaching on Saturday, check out this tribute of the six Lehigh seniors.
MEET THE SENIORS
#2 Kim Eng - Forward - Morristown, N.J. - Mechanical Engineering
One of the top offensive players in school history, Eng has enjoyed tremendous success from the day she set foot on campus. The Morristown, N.J. native posted a league-leading 13 goals and 34 points her freshman season to earn Patriot League Rookie of the Year honors while also garnering First Team All-League and Second Team All-Region laurels. Eng went on to post 13 points as a sophomore then 24 as a junior to again earn First Team All-Patriot League honors. Entering Senior Day, she owns 93 career points behind 36 goals and 21 points. Eng has led the Mountain Hawks to a pair of Patriot League Tournament appearances, including a third-place finish last season. Lehigh went 3-2 in league play for the first time since 2007 which included a dramatic win over eventual Patriot League finalist Bucknell.
#10 Brittany Johnson - Forward - Coppell, Texas - Theatre/French
A strong contributor over her four-year career, Johnson played four games as a freshman before getting into 15 games as a sophomore and 17 as a junior. The Texas native owns one collegiate goal along with an assist, both coming in a career game at Sacred Heart last September. Entering Senior Day, she’s played in 41 games, including a start, while posting seven shots (five on goal). Johnson’s hard work, leadership and positive attitude can’t be overlooked as she’s proved to be a strong influence on her teammates.
#13 Mercedes Grubb - Forward - Coatesville, Pennsylvania - Behavioral Neuroscience
After beginning her career at Lehigh, Grubb returned for her final two seasons, making her mark on the Lehigh field hockey program in a variety of ways. A strong influence to the younger players, Grubb has gotten into seven games while picking up her first-career point (an assist) as part of a big 6-3 win over Towson, Lehigh’s first win over a CAA opponent since 2006.
#14 Kelsey Zeswitz - Midfield - Lititz, Pennsylvania - Global Studies
Zeswitz made her mark from the beginning, playing in 17 games as a freshman (13 starts) while posting a goal and assist. She scored her first-career goal against Bucknell while adding an assist in the regular season finale at American. Zeswitz went on to record four points as a sophomore, all coming at Siena behind a goal and two assists. The Lititz, Pa. native one-upped that as a junior in scoring a goal and adding a career-high four assists. She dished an assist during Lehigh’s first-ever win over Penn, while scoring a goal just days earlier vs. Cornell. Zeswitz was one of six Mountain Hawks to start all 19 games as Lehigh won four of its final six regular season games to earn the #3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Zeswitz has played in all 16 games this season while also making an impact off the field by organizing Lehigh Field Hockey’s First Annual Fox Trot 5K for Parkinson’s Research set for Sunday, Oct. 28. The event has already raised over $5,000, more than double the goal of $2,500 with a few days still remaining.
#18 Melissa Kuhns - Midfield - White Haven, Pennsylvania - Global Studies
Kuhns has made her impact felt in a variety of ways for the Mountain Hawks. She’s played in 54 career games with a goal and assist as a stabilizing presence in the midfield. Kuhns played in 15 games (with seven starts) as a sophomore, scoring her first-career goal at Georgetown. She followed that up by playing in all 19 games as a junior (16 starts), dishing an assist at Holy Cross and firing eight shots (four on goal). This season, Kuhns has helped lead 12 freshmen as she continues to be a positive influence to everyone around her.
#23 Carly Smith - Defense - Downingtown, Pennsylvania - Supply Chain Management
Part of a long line of Smiths to don the Brown & White, Carly has emerged as one of Lehigh’s top defenders. She’s one of only five Mountain Hawks to start every game this season and joins Kim Eng, Marie Mignogna and Steph Fratoni as Lehigh players to start all 35 games over the past two seasons. Smith has served as a stabilizing force for the backfield, posting five defensive saves over the past two seasons including three this year (good for second on the team). Not to be forgotten, she got on the score sheet with an assist her sophomore year at Siena. Smith has also stepped up taking penalty corners this season as her overall intangibles are unmatched.
SENIOR QUESTION & ANSWER
Lehighsports.com caught up with the seniors as they reflect upon their careers in the Brown and White in this special round-table question and answer.
What is your favorite Lehigh Field Hockey memory up until this point?
Eng: My favorite Lehigh Field hockey moment was when we beat La Salle last year because it was our first win, it was in overtime and I got to be part of the game-winning play. It was a major turning point in our season.
Johnson: My favorite memory is actually getting stuck in a snowstorm after our game at Holy Cross last season. While at the time, it wasn't fun at all, it was such a good weekend for team bonding. The TVs at the hotel weren't working so we played games and performed skits and it's something we all still talk about today.
Grubb: Our pregame pump-ups when the locker room turns into a dance party.
Zeswitz: I have so many great memories with this team, so I can't pick just one. I love any time our team gets together for meals. We LOVE to eat and meals always include lots of laughter, stories and bonding.
Kuhns: My favorite Lehigh field hockey moment was beating Bucknell last season. I thought that was one of the best games our team has played and we showed the Patriot League what LUFH stands for.
Smith: My favorite LUFH memory would be during my junior year when we beat La Salle in overtime. This was such an exciting game because we played together as a team and we played with heart. It was truly rewarding to win in overtime.
Describe the relationship with your fellow seniors.
Eng: Although we are each very different, we understand and respect each other.
Johnson: We've been through so much together. We're all very different, so as a class, we bring so much to the team. We've become close over the last four years and I'm grateful to have been a part of such a passionate, committed and funny group.
Grubb: We are a very eclectic group. I think all six of us are different, and therefore bring something new and exciting to the table. Our differences complement each other, which I think make us a unique and strong senior class.
Zeswitz: I'm so glad to have had these five seniors alongside me throughout my college field hockey career. We’ve been through a lot in these four years and have seen this program undergo a lot of change. We survived… and our bond will last way beyond this final hockey season.
Kuhns: I think the senior class has a very close-knit relationship. Having six seniors on a team says a lot about our dedication and passion for the sport and the team. We all bring different talents and skills to the team and we learned how to work with each other to achieve greatness, on and off the field.
Smith: Our senior class has many leaders in different aspects and this allowed our class to be successful. I have greatly enjoyed the experience of getting to know and play with each one of my accompanying seniors.
Describe the feeling going into Senior Day. What are some of the thoughts going through your mind as you're nearing the end of your collegiate career?
Eng: It has come so quickly, so I haven't thought that much about it. I'm trying not to think about it. I am thinking about not having any regrets and leaving on a good note. I want people to remember me and how I contributed to the team. I want our team to end playing our hardest. As long as we give it our all, I won't have any regrets.
Johnson: I can't believe it's almost over. The last four years have flown by and it hasn't really hit me yet that my career is ending. It'll be awesome if we beat Lafayette and end our careers with a win.
Grubb: Great journey.
Zeswitz: I still can't believe I'm a senior. Time has flown so much faster than I could have prepared for. Standing up there with the other five seniors and our families will be a surreal feeling. I've grown a lot in my time here at Lehigh as a student-athlete and have shared a lot of amazing memories with these girls. I'm excited to see what's ahead for us.
Kuhns: I still can't believe that I'm a senior and this is my last official collegiate field hockey game. It feels like yesterday my parents dropped me off at preseason as a nervous freshman. Entering the last game of my career, there are so many memories and emotions running through my mind and I don't know how else to describe the feeling other than being bittersweet.
Smith: As the end of my collegiate career approaches, I experience the emotions of being sad yet proud. Primarily, I am sad that I will never have the opportunity to play again at this level with such a wonderful team. I absolutely love the game and am sad that it is over very soon. Although I’m sad that my four years are coming to an end, I am proud to look back at the seasons and think about how much they have taught me, as well as the opportunity to play with caring teammates.
What will you miss most about Lehigh Field Hockey?
Eng: I will miss playing with everyone and being able to see them every day.
Johnson: I'll miss the people involved in our team the most. Obviously my teammates and the coaching staff, but also everyone who is passionate and committed to the team such as the strength coaches, Sports Med staff, equipment people and media staff. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful support group that cares so much about LUFH.
Grubb: The laughs and good times shared with the team and coaches.
Zeswitz: I will miss this team so incredibly much. I will miss the things I tell myself right now I’ll never miss. But I know I will, because in all of the things we've done - all of the drills, the playing, the running, the film-watching - I've done them all with this group of girls and I will miss having the opportunity to spend so much time with a group of girls as amazing as they are.
Kuhns: This is an easy question. The thing I will definitely miss the most about Lehigh field hockey is the friendships I have made throughout this experience. My teammates and coaches have been my family away from home and they’re all truly amazing people.
Smith: I will miss the family aspect about Lehigh Field Hockey the most. I always loved coming to practices, games and team events because our team is very supportive and everyone truly cares about one another.
What are your postgraduate plans?
Eng: I do not have any set plans at the moment, but I hope to work for a car company.
Johnson: I'm planning on teaching English in France for a year and then going to grad school for Directing in Theatre.
Grubb: I plan to join the working force and go back to school for health care management.
Zeswitz: After graduating, I plan on taking on a postgraduate internship working for an organization in the Public Health sphere and exploring the possibility of Physical Therapy school beyond that.
Kuhns: I plan to pursue a job for a non-profit organization upon graduation and go back to school to get my Master’s degree.
Smith: Upon graduation at Lehigh, I plan to obtain a position in a company where my business and supply chain management skills, coupled with my team-based experiences, will allow me to make a positive contribution.