Worcester, Mass.—Clark University head field hockey coach, Callie Lekas has announced seniors Raistlin Bittues (Center, Ossipee, N.H.), Dani Michaud (Providence, R.I.), and Olivia Barksdale (Fort Washington, Md.) as the 2018 team captains. Bittues, Michaud, and Barksdale are all entering their fourth season with the Cougars.
"Dani, OB, and Rai will be great leaders heading into the season. They each bring something different to the Captain role and they will balance each other well. They've worked so hard to build this program and I'm excited to see what they will do this year as senior, captains!" said Lekas.
Bittues has appeared in 49 career games and has started 31 of them. As a defender she has four points from two goals and one defensive save. "For me being a captain means being there for my team no matter what circumstance we're in. I saw this quote a few months ago that says 'Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better,' and this season I'm really trying to live by that quote, while still trying to bring my own game to the next level. This season I'm looking forward to seeing what our team can do, we're already showing up to practice with an intensity that can lead to a great season. From a leadership standpoint I want to keep the team motivated and organized, so when we step on the field the only thing we have to worry about is field hockey and how we can put together our best game," said Bittues.
Michaud has appeared in 43 career games and started in 36 of them. Last season she started 17 games for the Cougars. In 2408:54 of play Michaud has collected 280 saves and a .745 save percentage. She has 11 career wins and three career shutouts. Last season Michaud was named to the ZAG Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Academic Squad.
"To me, being a captain is primarily about finding ways to help establish a strong relationship on the team in order to give the people who are (and will be) part of it a strong foundation to work off of. Our role is to lead in perpetuity, and in this we leave a stronger program for the people who come after us by encouraging the kind of culture that endures. This season I think I am most excited to be able to see how much my skills and those of my teammates have grown since my freshman year. Personally, as a captain I want to bring a sense of comfort and excitement to the team that gives everyone who is involved in the program the understanding that they are welcome and important in this little field hockey family we've carved out of Clark University," said Michaud.
Barksdale has appeared in all 53 games since her freshman year and has started 52 of them. She has 81 career points from 32 goals and 17 assists. Last season she was named to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference Second Team. Barksdale was also named to the 2017 Longstreth/NFHCA Division III All-Region Team.
"My role as a field hockey co-captain can be summed up by this quote from Tim Notke; "Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard". I lead by example through my work ethic and resilience on the field. I hope to show my team what we can accomplish together when we all reach toward the same goal and give our 100% every day, specifically by leaving everything I have on the field every time I am out there. I also hope to show my team how to play poised and to always play OUR game, no matter the opponent," said Barksdale.
Field Hockey opens up their 2018 schedule on Friday, August 31st when they travel to Simmons College for a 6:00 p.m. game. They kick off their home schedule on Saturday, September 8th when they host Western New England at Ganger Field, 1:30 p.m.