Pat Bradley ’14, Sports Editor
After the most successful season in program history last fall, the field hockey team has lofty expectations to live up to. While most teams have a heavily loaded senior group on the roster, this team only feature four: Lindsay Grover, Sarah Dunbar, Candace Waldie, and Jess Otis. All four play valuable roles on the field and the latter three are returning All-Americans. Check out why you should watch field hockey and who the seniors model their game after, among other things, below.
Q. Of all the sports you could have played, why field hockey?
A. Waldie: “It’s a team sport, and we work together. I used to play softball, but I just like the team aspect of it.”
Q. What specifically about the team aspect?
A. Waldie: “It’s the support, especially with this program you just feel the support. When you’re out there doing sprints at practice, we’re constantly saying ‘look up at your teammates. Work hard for your teammates.’ Knowing you have those other girls behind you is a feeling you can’t really describe.”
Q. How old were you when you started playing field hockey?
A. Dunbar: “I started when I was in 3rd grade, and started playing competitively in 7th grade. I got into it because my older sister, Heather (who played at Babson), played. I just went to her camps that she helped run, so I’d always go.
Q. Who do you model your game after? Field hockey or otherwise.
A. Grover: “Dustin Pedroia. He works his ass off to overcome adversity to succeed and prove everyone wrong. He’s small-sized. People didn’t believe in him and he just had to work to prove himself.”
Q. Is it harder to play field hockey than other sports, if only because of popularity?
A. Grover: “When you’re younger it’s harder, just because of availability. I didn’t hear about anything until eighth grade when my softball coach told us they needed players on the team.”
Otis: “Even in college it’s hard because no one knows the rules. If you talk to anyone who’s not on the east coast, no one even knows what field hockey is.”
Q. Is it rewarding at least that field hockey is an Olympic sport over something like softball, for example?
A. All four: “Yes! Absolutely”
Q. Do you have any superstitions or pre-game rituals?
A. Grover: “Power bite. We always eat some part of a cliff bar before a game because it’s extra energy.”
Otis: “It could even be a crumb, you could be completely full, but you need to have a power bite. It’s a mental thing.”
Q. Most memorable moment in field hockey?
A. Otis: “Being in [The] Blue Line [Club] waiting to see if we were going to get the bid [for the NCAA tournament in fall 2011]. It was the most exciting moment, it was electric in there.”
Waldie: “That was a turning point for us too. We were always the underdog and it was like ‘okay, we’re ranked, we’re up there. We can do this.’”
Q. If you played another sport, what would it be?
A. Dunbar: Golf; Otis: Gymnastics; Grover: Swimming; Waldie: Softball
Q. Why should fans go watch field hockey? What’s cool about field hockey that most people don’t know?
A. Otis: “It’s really like any other sport where if you know the rules and understand the game, it’s exciting to watch.”
Grover: “It’s very fast paced and physical.”
Waldie: “I feel like with our team you can just go to the games and you can just see that we want it. We’re so passionate. And I can definitely get physical out there.”