The 1980 Field Hockey Team
New head coach Gale Lackey took over the Wesleyan field
hockey program in 1978, just before its seventh season. A year earlier, the
team was 2-5-1, and over its first six seasons tha program’s cumulative record
was 11-35-5 with no more than four wins in any one season. In her first season
Coach Lackey led her squad to a fine 10-1 mark, followed by a 10-2-1 season in
The 1980 season capped a three-year dynasty as the Cardinals
produced their first undefeated season of 8-0-3 and their second outright
Little Three title. The team was led by a particularly stingy defense that
produced six shutouts in 11 contests and held two other opponents to one goal.
The Little Three victories were particularly decisive, with two shoutouts and
eight goals for: Amherst, 3-0, and Williams, 5-0.
Team tri-captain Carol McCrae ’81 started all 11 games as net
minder, yielding a mere nine goals. Top scorer Barb Martin ’81, also a
tri-captain, scored a team-leading 17 goals, more than half the team’s total of
30, and posted three hat tricks while scoring at least one goal in 10 of the 11
outings. Her only scoreless game came in a 0-0 deadlock at Smith College.
The Cardinals relied heavily on their 11 starters. During
eight of the 11 games, no more than one player came off the bench to spell a
first-stringer, a tribute to the team’s resilience and stamina.
The season finale against host Bridgeport was fittingly
dramatic. Tied 0-0 after regulation, the game went into overtime and when the
smoke cleared, Barb Martin had secured the win with her career-record 51st
goal, and the Cardinals had put the finishing touches on a remarkable
three-year run of 28-3-4.