Ashley Cohen ‘22
After playing field hockey for her local Denver field hockey club in middle school, Libby Ford ‘21 began her Lawrenceville field hockey career as a Second Former. A captain this year, she is a natural leader who hopes to see the team succeed, regardless of COVID-related obstacles.
Ashley Cohen: How did you first get involved in field hockey?
Libby Ford: I started field hockey when I was in middle school, around seventh grade. I joined the Denver Field Hockey Club, but it wasn’t too serious -- we played probably two games per season. Coming to Lawrenceville, I didn’t really identify as a field hockey player, but I knew I wanted to join the team and attend preseason to get to know campus. The Lawrenceville freshmen team was a huge step up from middle school. I fell in love with the sport when I got here.
AC: What position do you play in field hockey, and why do you like that position?
LF: I play defense. Offensive players want to score individually, but I like defense because we play as a unit. We all have the same goal -- to stop the other team from scoring.
AC: What is your favorite Lawrenceville field hockey tradition?
LF: We have so many, but I really like writing down our team rules. At the beginning of the season, we sit down and write team expectations, and a lot are consistent each year, but we always add or change some of them to keep it special for each team. It’s nice that everyone has a say, and the rules make sure that we all have the same expectations and dedication for the season.
AC: What is the biggest lesson that field hockey has taught you?
LF: Field hockey has taught me a lot about controlling the controllables. Especially having to learn the sport at Lawrenceville, [I’ve learned to] roll with the punches, play where my feet are, and not worry about things I can’t do anything about.
AC: Congratulations on making the High School National Academic Squad for field hockey! What was it like finding out that you made the Squad?
LF: It was a really exciting moment. Two of my co-captains, Claire Rubenstein ’19 and Caroline Foster ‘19, are also on the Squad, so it was great for the three of us!
AC: How do you balance being a varsity athlete with your strong academic work? Do you have any advice for other student-athletes?
LF: I think it’s important to stay on top of schoolwork and take advantage of free time during the day. I can usually knock out an assignment when I have a free moment. In the afternoon, you can completely focus on athletics and separate your athletic and academic careers. Also, you don’t have to do homework when you’re tired at night if you can get the majority done before practice starts.
AC: What other sports are you involved in on campus? Is there a crossover between field hockey and your other sports?
LF: I’m on the varsity lacrosse team, and there’s a huge crossover of girls who play both sports. I think field hockey and lacrosse are very similar sports mentally -- I find I’m in the same mindset when I’m playing both. It’s the same field position and overall goal… the only difference is that one’s on the ground, and one’s in the air.
AC: Do you plan to continue your athletic career in college?
LF: I am committed to the admissions process at Washington and Lee University for lacrosse. I am planning on walking onto the field hockey team there.
AC: How is the team managing with COVID-19?
LF: We made a varsity roster this year, and we also went over the same team expectations and goals as we would in the normal season with our new squad, especially since we have ten new players on the team this year. We wanted to make sure that our new members will know what a typical season looks like for years to come. We still practice as though we have games to play -- we’re scrimmaging and doing our normal traditions with COVID adjustments. It’s amazing that everybody is here this year to get better and push each other, even though we don’t have regular games. We have a really great group of girls who want to improve. Although I won’t be here next year, I know there will be a drastic difference because of everyone’s hard work during this unique season.
AC: How does it feel being in your last year on the team?
LF: It’s definitely bittersweet because [field hockey] has been such a huge part of my Lawrenceville career and life in general. I’m excited for the future of the team and am looking forward to seeing what they accomplish next year. [As an alumna,] I’ll be back to watch some field hockey games! I want to see the team win the Triple Crown, and [us seniors] are already talking about returning to watch games together!
AC: Anything else you’d like to add?
LF: I am so grateful for Big Red Field Hockey and our captains for making field hockey so special.
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.