Rye's Emma Brinkman does't deem it necessary to hide behind a rugged facade of team captain when it comes to getting clubbed by a field hockey stick. "It hurts a lot," she says. So shedding a tear is fine as long as they are in step with the passion she brings and ready to proceed in the direction her leadership can take them.
"I want our team to play with heart so I try to leave everything on the field, and hopefully they will follow," says the senior.
An undefeated 2011 and a trip to the section finals indicates that they do. "It was a good feeling and we both played well but Lakeland ended up winning," she says.
Off to a 2-0-1 start, the Rye girls are making due after a lot of turnover on their end of the field. "We are building the defense again," she says after losing all four starters.
On the attack, she and her forwards will use familiarity to advantage. Continually rotating, she says, "We look for each other, and we usually find each other."
Otherwise, Coach Fitzgerald is not at a loss and drills the basics, while the team bonding she emphasizes seem to go the distance. "It works for us," says Emma.
Then Field Hockey will give way to Lacrosse for Emma as easily as the weather changes. "I think they both help me get from season to season," she says, but it's Lacrosse that she hopes will accompany in college, where she'll pursue study in the humanities.