Up next in our interview series is Harvard head coach Ted Minnis. Harvard is 7-2 on the year with loses to the Iona Gaels in their season opener 15-14 and 9-6 to the Princeton Tigers. Harvard got revenge on Iona with a 14-13 sudden depth overtime win this past weekend. Harvard is hosting a tournament this weekend which also includes their first conference matchup when they face the Bucknell Bison.
Now onto the interview
1. What expectations do you have this year for your team?
I think our expectations are pretty high this year. We have a very talented senior class and we return a majority of last year's team that won 17 games. We are definitely looking to build off of last years 6th place finish at Eastern's, and to compete for a Southern Division Championship.
2. What are the strengths of your team?
Our speed and team defense are the strengths of this year's team. We have good speed top to bottom on our roster and we are going to play an up-tempo style. We will look to stretch the pool 2 meters to 2 meters. I think we will get very strong 2m play from Devan Kennifer and Jelena Cyr which will allow us to utilize our speed. I also think our experience is a big strength of this group. Our roster has 4 seniors who have played a lot of minutes in big games over their careers and they bring leadership and a strong work ethic to practice every day.
3. What would qualify to you as a successful season this year?
For me a successful season would be playing consistently and up to our potential every time we hit the pool. I think to place in the top 5 at Eastern's would also make this a successful season. We were 6th last year and I feel that we are close to cracking the top 5. It is going to take us playing very solid on defense and consistently in every phase of the game. There are a lot of good teams top to bottom in the CWPA so you really have to be prepared every time you play.
4. Can you tell me about your incoming freshman for this year and how they will fit into the team this year?
I am very excited about this group of freshman, not only because they are my first recruiting class, but also because they are talented players. Victoria Frager is a 2-meter defender from San Diego, she will add depth to our defender position and allow us to do some more dynamic things in the pool at the offensive end with Elise Molnar. All of our freshman should contribute thisyear at some point. We will have a freshman starting in the goal this year,with the retirement of last years starting goalie Laurel McCarthy. But I think what is best for this class is there is no pressure to come in and carry the load, because we returned such a solid nucleus from last year's team.
5. Whatplayers do you think could have a breakout year?
I am looking for Juniors Elise Molnar and Aisha Price to have great seasons this year, but Ialso feel that there are a bunch of young women that have the ability to have break out seasons. I am very happy with the way these two have developed in our system. With Elise, I think she has really developed her offensive game. She has always been a great defensive player, but she is going to add so much on the offensive end of the pool this year, and I think she is going to help us be very successful. Aisha has improved every day and she is going to cause some match up problems on offense. She has done a wonderful job during the off season of working on her post up play and here ability to score with her back to the goal. I am very excited to see how these two play this year.