Sports Spotlight: Molly Shmerling, Hannah Freedman, and Emily Heeren

By Denebola
Published: October 2008

By Adam Sangiolo

The girls’ field hockey team will continue to fight for success in the 2008 season. The team this year is led by three valiant captains: Emily Heeren, Molly Shmerling, and Hannah Freedman. Although they are off to somewhat of a slow start this year, there are still high hopes for the outcome of the season. Practice, training, and attending camps in the offseason has allowed for the team to be highly motivated and improve on important stick skills that are needed to ensure success.

Preparing individually in the offseason leads to more success. All the girls have prepared themselves for the rest of the season that lies ahead in the DCL. Any of the girls who planned on playing varsity were required to go to a field hockey day or overnight camp over the summer to build on critical skills.

Players also attended conditioning camps. “Everyone was able to go running and get in shape for preseason, and the camps really whipped us back into shape, Shmerling said. The hardworking leaders of the team all praise their coach. They know that in order to succeed, a hard practice regimen is vital. Coach Kathleen Marucci has been optimistic throughout her second season as the girls head coach. “She is very dedicated to the team and has made a huge impact on improving the level of our skills. She is willing to put the extra effort in to help us succeed, Hereen said.

“Coach Marucci pushes us really hard but in the end it’s worth it because the team comes out so much stronger, Freedman said. Coach Marucci’s rigorous practices and strength and conditioning workouts determine how much stamina the girls have in the game. She also isn’t afraid to reward the girls, such as when they scored a goal on one of the top ranked L-S teams and she bought them ice cream.

One of the team’s major strengths is their group dynamic. Every member of the team always keeps a positive attitude and a sense of unity in every practice or game. A lot of the teamwork comes from the captain’s leadership, on and off the field. “We work really well together and we keep a positive attitude no matter what the score is during a game, Shmerling said.

The team morale is also always a major boost of confidence. “Everyone gets along and we all cheer for each other no matter the situation. Everyone is encouraging and treats everyone equal, Freedman said. The team will continue to build on areas of success, although there are only a few things the Lions are hoping to overcome.

One thing that has held the team down is their reputation around school. They feel that since they play on a grass field that is not at South, there is very little school spirit and support at the games. “It is sometimes difficult to find the drive to win with the lack of general support, Hereen said. Another disadvantage the girls feel is that because other teams in the very competitive DCL have been playing for three or more years, it is hard to catch up to other programs in such a quick time.

The team is confident they can build on their mistakes, and begin to win games. “We put in so much effort everyday, and we’re improving daily. We have high hopes for the rest of the season, Heeren said.

The Lion’s hope to have your support at their home games at Weeks field in Newton Centre.

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