Described as “a leader”, “a goalie’s best friend”, “a dependable tackler”, “an excellent passer”, senior co-captain Amy Galebach enters her last campaign with many ambitions and a new position. With an Ivy League championship in sight, Galebach can add “offensive threat” to her list of accolades, as she steps up from her previous sweeper position to the pivotal role as center midfielder.
When you think of defense on the Cornell field hockey team, you think Galebach. With four defensive saves last year, she surpassed the team total of three. Awarded the Most Valuable Defensive Player Award by her team in 1999, Galebach has always been steady in the back for the Red. Throughout her career, she has been a defender on the field — until this year.
With the graduation of many of the Big Red’s prime scorers last year, some adjustments were necessary for improving this year’s offensive threat. Head coach Michelle Tambroni decided to move junior Ashleigh Snelson up to become a key scorer, leaving the center midfield position open. Tambroni immediately knew who she could look to for filling the crucial spot.
“I’m very confident in Amy [in her new position] because she has played in every match of her career and is extremely knowledgeable about the game. Center mid is a very demanding role. She’s a hammer who will be able to hit the ball into the net while also setting everyone else up around her,” Tambroni said of Galebach.
Galebach shares her coach’s excitement about the new position. Although she has never played so far up in the field, Galebach is not finding the transition to be very difficult.
As a sweeper, Amy has always been able to move up the field. With her aggressive style, Galebach had an exciting offensive moment last season in the final game of the year. Against Yale, Galebach pushed far enough ahead for an assist and the first point of her Cornell career. She is looking forward to the chance to score more points this season.
“As center mid, I will have more scoring opportunities and more responsibilities to set up the forwards. It’s a really big role because you are constantly transitioning from defense to offense while you are also setting up the offense for shots. A lot of times, you’ll have to switch the field and change your point of attack or look for the lanes on the field. It’s demanding, but I love it,” Galebach commented on her new position.
Galebach has also assumed the important role of co-captain for the Red. Although she has always been a leader on the team, this more defined role has made Amy more aware of her responsibilities.
“Coach [Tambroni] has put more confidence in me and Kate [McMahon] than she ever has before. I’m also more aware of the fact that everything I do is a reflection upon the team. All of the seniors are models for the younger players, but as a captain, I think it’s more important for me to make sure the underclassmen understand what is going on,” said Galebach.
Tambroni has a lot of faith in Amy.
“There is no doubt in my mind that she is a great leader. Amy has been a leader since she was a freshman. She pushes her teammates and demands a lot of respect from them and from all of us,” Tambroni remarked.
Despite the change in her roles on the team, Galebach’s goals have not changed much. Because she is a senior, the intensity of these goals has increased, but they remain very simple.
“I would really like to see us win the Ivies. It’s within our reach. We have a lot of potential and I really think we can do it,” she said. “Also, I just want to have fun and have a great last season with my team.”
Archived article by Kelli Larsen