November 1, 2006

Field Hockey’s Seniors Reflect

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“It’s the little things, I’ll remember,” said senior field hockey co-captain Lindsay Moyer. “Our 10th win at Georgetown last year, I’ll never forget that feeling. I’ll remember some of the fun practices we had, [sophomore Katlyn] Donoghue and [sophomore] Mandy [Malzberg] messing with me, [head] coach H’s [Donna Hornibrook] Canadian accent. Sometimes it would be hard to take her seriously when she would say something funny. She went along with it, though.”
“The wins and losses have already started to blur together,” said fellow classmate and co-captain Sarah Miller, reflecting. “I’ll remember the traveling, though. There are lots of great stories from that. It’s not like high school, where you see your teammates in class. When you travel here, you spend a week with just these girls.”
As both Moyer and Miller’s time spent racing up and down the turf on Schoellkopf comes to a close, and they prepare to leave the 10 square miles surrounded by reality that is Ithaca, one thing is certain to both — winning truly isn’t the be and end all.
[img_assist|nid=19400|title=field hockey|desc=Senior Lindsay Moyer controls the ball during the Red’s 6-0 loss to Princeton on Sept. 30.|link=popup|align=left|width=64|height=100]
“I’ve learned a hell of a lot from field hockey,” Moyer said. “It teaches you time management and how to prioritize. There are ups and downs with everything I’ve learned to go through the harder times. There were times I didn’t want to go to practice, but you did because it just comes down to having a love for the game and for the girls. I know I’ve made friendships and relationships that will last a life time.”
“The relationships you make are really important,” said Miller, echoing Moyer’s sentiments.
Miller and Moyer both arrived at a time when the field hockey program here at Cornell was in turmoil. They played their first year under Philip Ykes, who was serving as head coach on an interim basis after Michelle Tambroni, who recruited both players, decided to take time off. The uncertainty in the front office spilled out on to the field, where the two saw the team stumble to 3-13 their first two years. By that point, the original class of eight recruits had slimmed down to two.
“A lot has changed,” Moyer said. “We’ve gone through lots of coaching changes, and with each new class, the team has changed. But, everything happens for a reason.”
Indeed, the team did change drastically last year, when a recruiting class of 14 freshmen marched onto the Hill, leaving Miller and Moyer as two elder statesmen amongst a team of talented newcomers. Under the guidance of Hornibrook — in her second season — the Red set a school record with 10 wins. Donoghue was one of those newcomers, adding that the two work well off each other.
“They are kind of like role models,” Donoghue said. “They really took all of us under them and helped us both on and off the field. They knew how to keep us going during rough times because they knew what it was like to lose and keep going. Especially playing midfield they’ve been a big help. I really feel like they are always looking out for me.”
When asked about her and Malzberg “messing with” Moyer, Donoghue laughed.
“We’ve done a couple pranks on her,” she admitted. “She gets a good laugh from me and Mandy. That’s the nice thing about Moyer. She’s enough of a leader that you can joke around with her, and she will play along.”
From all accounts, however, the leadership styles of the two are nearly opposite.
“Moyer is much more vocal,” said junior goalkeeper Lizzie Goldblatt. “Miller is less so, but they still have equal say and respect in everything, which is why they are good captains. They really reed well off each other. They’ve really taught me to cherish your time here. That’s the biggest things I’ve learned form them. They really maintain a balance of the idea that we’re here to have fun, as well as play to win. If we’re not having fun, what’s the point?”
Hearing Goldblatt say that would make both Miller and Moyer happy, as both emphasized the desire to pass on the message to their teammates how fleeting the time here truly is, and to enjoy it while you can.
“I know it’s cliched and I can’t believe I’m saying it,” Miller said. “But it’s true.”
Both players have been here long enough, however, to evolve, both in terms of their games and their personalities as well.
“My feet used to always move faster than the ball does,” Moyer said. “The last two years, my practice time has been limited because of my back injury, so now I’m a little slower. It’s made me more mature, and more of a distributer. I’m just much more comfortable at midfield.”
“I’m most proud of her perseverance,” Hornibrook said. “Her determination and intensity playing with her back condition for two years is going to take her places. She had to learn to play with her mind as much as her body.”
As for Miller, Hornibrook points out how much her game has opened up over her time here.
“Miller’s a creative person in general and that comes through in her play,” Hornibrook said. “Her confidence has really grown, though, which has allowed her to use her skills more, especially as she’s played more of an attack position this year and definitely had her best season. They both played their best field hockey this year.”
And while neither has any idea where life will take them after they move the tassel from one side of the cap to the other, it will surely be a life involving field hockey — at some point at least.
“Well, my chiropractor says I shouldn’t even play now,” Moyer said. “But I hope to build the alumni program here for field hockey.”
“I’m definitely going to take a little time off to get my bearings,” Miller said. “But maybe down the road, I’ll play on a club team.”