Sam Gillespie – Staff Writer
Field hockey usually takes a back seat to football and soccer, but it is a deceivingly difficult sport. From the square, metal goals, senior goalie, TVL All Star Brittany Appleby, finds herself directing traffic to her teammates as they run up and down the field. Holding one of the most important positions in the game, Appleby has made a name for herself in the TVL through eight shutout performances and leading her team to second in the league, barely missing the state tournament.
Brittany started playing field hockey when it was first introduced in eighth grade and played sweeper for her rookie year as part of the middle school team. The following year, she volunteered to play goalie for the JV squad because it was an empty position.
She wasn’t a natural right away though. Even after playing a year as defense in middle school, Appleby says “that season was really difficult for me since I had never worn all the equipment and I didn’t have a full understanding of the game.” Although it wasn’t the greatest first year, Brittany didn’t give up.
Appleby played another year on JV, before moving up to varsity for her junior and senior years. Her junior year, Appleby describes as a “rebuilding year for us, and although we finished last in the league, we developed our skills, became more conditioned, and learned how to be mentally tough.”
During her junior year, Brittany learned a lot about the goalie position. Brittany said that the goalie is the eyes of the field for the entire team, and they are constantly communicating with others.
Among her best games, Appleby thinks that her most impressive performance this season was against Ashland where she had a twenty save shutout and Holliston went on to win the game 1-0.
After wrapping up her high school career, Brittany considered playing at the varsity college level, however when it came down to it, Appleby said “that playing on a club team will still allow me to continue with field hockey but with more time for academics and college life.”
When asked what the most important thing she had learned over her field hockey career was, she responded with a wise answer, much beyond her years, Appleby replied, “Goalkeepers have to be confident enough to be a leader for the team and that you save more goals with your words than your actions.”