Star athlete with spirit: Junior shines with field hockey

Star+athlete+with+spirit%3A+Junior+shines+with+field+hockey

By Alexis Costas, Staff Reporter

“It just makes me happy to be there, to play the sport and be with my friends. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”

This is what field hockey means to junior Carly Hynd. The sport has been a part of Hynd’s life since she was 6 years old, but during her time at Conestoga, the game has grown from a fun hobby into much more. Last year, she received an honorable mention for Pennsylvania’s all-state field hockey selection team for her performance, and this season, she scored her 100th point against Cardinal O’Hara. 

Hynd has always loved sports and played soccer through sixth grade. In seventh grade, though, as she began to think about college and high school athletics, she realized that her true ambitions lay elsewhere.

“I was just getting better at field hockey and making more friends, so I thought it was time to pursue that,” Hynd said.

The switch proved to be a great choice for Hynd, and in her freshman year, she not only made the varsity field hockey team but also received an offer to commit to the University of Maryland as a field hockey player, which she accepted.

“It was such a huge accomplishment, and I just felt over the moon,” Hynd said. “There’s really nothing like it. Everything I’d done, everything I’d had to miss because of (practices) had paid off.”

However, juggling field hockey, academics and other activities wasn’t always easy for Hynd. In middle school, there were days where finding the motivation to attend the frequent practices was hard. Now, though, Hynd attributes her continued devotion to the sport to the support of her teammates and friends. 

“Lauren D’Emilio always keeps me in good spirits, and she was my first friend on the team, and the other seniors, Annie Hirshman, Chloe Ziegler and McHalea Beck, were sophomores on varsity when I joined as a freshman. They really made me feel like I was one of them,” Hynd said. “I’ve made some of my absolute best friends on the team. I love those girls so much.”

Hynd believes her endurance and teamwork are two of her strongest skills as an athlete, and her teammates agree.

“One of Carly’s greatest strengths is that she’s relentless on the field. She never gives up and plays her toughest game, and she motivates the rest of us,” D’Emilio said.

Hynd’s “field hockey family” love having her on the team, and the girls make a point to encourage and support one another. According to her fellow players, Hynd goes the extra mile when it comes to making the game a positive experience for everyone.

“The greatest strength an athlete can possess is being able to pick up a team when they’re down. Carly is a leader, and she motivates me and the other players to never give up,” Beck said. “One of my favorite things about playing on the team this year was being with such amazing people, and each season I fall in love with the game all over again.”

Hynd is also grateful for the constant support of her coaches, Regan Marscher and Karen Gately. The two have helped her throughout her field hockey career at Conestoga.

“Carly knows when it’s time to focus and when to have fun. She is super tough and can bounce back when a team is being rough. She is an outstanding role model for the younger girls, and they all look up to her,” Marscher said.

Marscher also echoed her players’ feelings on the supportive and loving vibes among the team this season, and attributes their success to hard work and strong bonds between the girls and coaches.

To other athletes who are passionate about their sport and are looking to get commited, Hynd offers her encouragement.

“Even if you feel like you’re not being paid enough attention or you aren’t a ‘favorite,’ keep doing what you like, and don’t let other people bring you down because the hard work will pay off, and things will work out in the end,” Hynd said.