FH : Loncarica set to break points record

first_img Published on August 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Comments To Martina Loncarica, statistical achievements and individual accolades mean virtually nothing. The senior midfielder has bought into the team-first mentality head coach Ange Bradley has instilled into the No. 5 SU field hockey program.‘I really don’t follow records,’ Loncarica said. ‘It’s just an outcome. If you play hard, then you’re going to get whatever’s on the record. I really don’t look at it.’Loncarica is the most decorated player on the Orange (1-0, 0-0 Big East) roster following the departure of SU’s all-time points leader Maggie Befort last season. After being named Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year entering 2011, Loncarica, who is already SU’s all-time assists leader, earned career point No. 118 Saturday against Monmouth. She is now within two points of Befort’s all-time mark.But even as Loncarica closes in on the record, she hasn’t taken the time to bask in her accomplishments. She is more focused on her role as a playmaker and leader on the team.With nearly a full season left in her career, though, the record appears to be hers.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘She’s just been a very steady and consistent performer here, and we’re looking for her to do more of the same,’ Bradley said. ‘But I’m not really sure what the record is that she’s creeping up on honestly.’After a 4-0 season-opening win over Monmouth, it was clear that Bradley’s thoughts did not center around Loncarica setting a new record. The head coach just knows her senior leader will continue to produce and help the team win.The team-first approach is well-received by her players, starting with the star Loncarica. And before her, the current record holder, Maggie Befort, set the example for the team.When Befort set the record as a junior, she didn’t even realize her accomplishment. She wasn’t informed of the record until after the season, and even then she said it didn’t hold significant value for her.Befort knows it means no more to Loncarica than it did to her.‘We never talked about those kinds of things, just because they’re not really important to team-building stuff,’ Befort said after SU’s win Saturday.The only thing that has ever mattered to the pair is for SU’s on-field performance to improve year after year.Befort, who watched from the stands Saturday, serves as a reminder of the growth of the program under Bradley. The former back was a member of Bradley’s first recruiting class, and she helped lead the Orange to its first-ever No. 1 ranking and the final four as a sophomore.And Loncarica was right there with Befort as SU advanced to the final four. The two formed a bond in three years together as the Orange rose to national prominence. Throughout her career, Befort said she fed off Loncarica’s passion for the game.‘We played next to each other, side by side for three years, and she’s always been a great teammate,’ Befort said. ‘She’s one of those people that you can always go talk to, and she kind of reminds me of why you fell in love with the game.’Befort is excited to see that legacy grow as a new group of players takes over the program, led by Loncarica. She said each freshman class seems to be more talented than the previous one.So after Loncarica likely breaks Befort’s record and departs in May, she will pass the torch on to someone else.And that is what’s more important than breaking Befort’s record. It’s Loncarica’s job to make sure the team is in good hands when she leaves.‘I’m blessed to be part of Syracuse University, but records don’t really matter now,’ Loncarica said. ‘I just have to play hard every day and build everything again.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *