This year, the Meredith College field hockey team took to the field for the first time in Meredith Athletics history. Last year, the team was supposed to compete, but due to COVID-19, their season was delayed until the fall of 2021. The Meredith Herald sat down with Courtney Hexter, Head Field Hockey Coach, to discuss the new team at Meredith.
When asked about her reaction to the news that she would be coaching field hockey at Meredith, she replied, “When I first learned that Meredith was adding field hockey, my interest was piqued, as I had been a D3 coach in the past and never thought I would have stayed out of college coaching as long as I did. I thought it had the potential to be a really great opportunity for me professionally, but more importantly, I was excited about the opportunities it would create for field hockey players at the D3 level in North Carolina.”
The field hockey team has now had several games and is still working on becoming a strong and communicative team. When discussing areas of potential improvement, Hexter stated, “We have come a long way in a short time, but we also still have much to improve on. Our off ball movement and spacing, which is key to our small passing game, is one [area].” She added, “Having field vision to make strong 1-1 moves and accurate passes is another [area for improvement]. If we can do those things, I think we’ll get up the field into scoring position a lot more.” When Hexter was asked to describe her team dynamic, she said, “Our team dynamic is a mix between ‘we’re glad you’re here’ and ‘get on board, we’re taking this to the next level.’ We have a good group of student-athletes on our team who are excited about Meredith’s 10th NCAA sport and the opportunity to be part of making history.”
Coach Hexter said that her goal for the field hockey team’s first season is for them “to get better at the little things which will ultimately translate into coming together as a complete game.” However, she also said, “I…want the excitement about our new team to remain high, which can be a challenge as it becomes a lot more serious on the NCAA level than playing club.”
Finally, Coach Hexter said, “I’ve been excited for this year and feel that we’ve been able to build a more solid foundation with the addition of the club year. We’ve had strong team leaders who have been instrumental in developing our team culture and welcomed in recruited players who have been challenging our club players [to bring] the level of play up to the NCAA standard.”
By Mia Russell, Staff Writer