Together we will. That is our mission, and that is our motivator. These are the three words that we, the members of the FDU field hockey team, vowed to play by at the beginning of the season, and these are the words that helped us get to where we are today. Every year, we come up with one main goal for the season, and this year it was to win a MAC Championship on our home field. So when our season ended with a winning record in the conference, we were presented what we had worked for: the trophy, on our own turf.

Winning the conference is something we’re grateful for on its own; however, the win came with a bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. The last time the FDU field hockey team went to the NCAAs was 28 years ago in 1986. We were making history already.

“I’ve been saying to everybody I think we have a very special group of 24 ladies and I think the heart, the determination, and the fight that each one of them [has] inside of them had gotten us to where we are,” said Jenn Noon, head field hockey coach.

My coach said focusing on one game at a time and peaking at the right moment in the season would make us successful.

Our preparation began the day of our final game last season. We read “Mind Gym,” a book that gave us positive thoughts.

We also held each other accountable by running as many miles as we could per week, keeping the competition within us in the off-season.

Our success echoes that of the women’s basketball team. They have shown us mental toughness and confidence. They proved what can be accomplished when you believe in yourself and your team.

Now, sitting on the silent bus to Maine, it’s quite surreal looking at all of my sisters and thinking how proud I am. I’m proud of the season we endured and the strong mindset that we’ve kept but I’m mostly proud because of the devotion and heart that I know every single one of them has. Just two days ago, we traveled to New York, where we defeated Utica College and knocked them out of the tournament.

God is good. And when you realize that, everything is a blessing.

For me, these are my last couple of games and practices of my career. But I know that the indescribable feeling of stepping on the field with those 23 other girls next to me will never leave. The butterflies in my stomach, the anxious nerves in my legs, the mind games that start to tell me I can’t, are all erased because, no matter what happens, we’re together.

Together we’re champions. Together we’re a family. Together we did.

Editor’s note: Gabriella D’Amico wrote this piece on Friday as she and her field hockey teammates traveled to Maine for the second round of the NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship. There, the Devils’ most successful season in program history ended with a 5-1 loss to Skidmore College. D’Amico scored FDU’s single goal.

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