NEWINGTON - Throughout the season the Newington field hockey team has been searching for an offensive spark.
On senior night against Windsor on Oct. 9, the Indians got it from Kelly Iskra as the senior scored a pair of goals.
It was the product of an offensive change for Newington that moved Iskra from defense to offense.
“It’s definitely a different role for me,” Iskra said. “I think my stick skills are fit for it, but it’s kind of the same going after the ball and playing the hardest. Scoring two goals against Windsor was definitely a confidence booster and it was my first full game playing offense so it felt really good.”
With just four goals over their first six games, Indians head coach Victoria Grubin knew the 1-4-1 record suggested a change was needed and she made the switch of Iskra from her normal position on defense up to forward to give the team a fourth option on the offensive attack.
“We’re going with a more offensive minded lineup instead of a defensively minded lineup,” Grubin said. “The whole thought is that we have to generate offense somehow so we might as well just put it all on the offense.”
The change moved the Newington lineup into a 4-3-3 formation as opposed to the 3-3-4 it was running before the Windsor game. Instead of running four defenders, the Indians now have the majority of their players on the offensive end of the field.
While on the surface it would indicate the Indians defense should be affected by the change, that isn’t the case, it’s rather more responsibility on the shoulders of Newington’s midfielders, who are now more crucial than in the previous formation.
“At the end of the day, all the basic fundamentals and mechanics are the same,” Grubin said. “It’s just a matter of people now getting more comfortable in having to be back as in before that didn’t have to happen.”
While Newington defeated Windsor 3-0, the Indians haven’t scored in the two games since against Conard and Avon.
Still, Grubin believes the scoring is only a matter of time and has already noticed a positive impact on the team.
“[Iskra’s] got a lot of fight and a lot of power,” Grubin said. “[The change] has been working for us so far. Obviously it wasn’t our day [against Avon] but it’s been working for us.”
With a 2-6-1 record on the season, a boost in offensive production down the stretch would be huge if the Indians want to finish their season strong.