Cougar of the Week: Olivia Cotton
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Olivia Cotton (‘17) hails from Northampton. She is a midfielder and co-captain of the Women’s Field Hockey team. Cotton is majoring in Psychology, minoring in Spanish, and is a member of the Student Activities Board. She sat down with The Scarlet to talk about the season, team chemistry, and listening to R. Kelly.
Scarlet: How has your season been going?
Cotton: It’s going pretty well. We have a small team this year and we have a new head coach. It’s a big change for us, but I think as a team are doing really well.
Scarlet: What’s it like going into your senior year with a new coach after having the same one your first three years here?
Cotton: So [Head Coach] Callie [Lekas] has brought an entirely new game setup and mentality in how the team plays and practices. Callie has implemented new techniques and drills having a strong emphasis on a strong defense. We’ve been doing more one-on-one drills, and focusing on team dynamic. Callie is very defensive-minded coach; she has implemented a new defensive press.
Scarlet: What is the hardest aspect of playing field hockey?
Cotton: For me it is mental toughness. When you are playing you’re constantly running and being active, but you also have to have discipline. You have to always be mentally in the game at all times. If you are in a one-on-one with [the] other team and you lose focus, it could mean the game.
Scarlet: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Cotton: Yeah. I listen to music and it is always the top hits. I also listen to “World’s Greatest” by R. Kelly. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but our team always plays this when we have home games in the locker room. I like to listen to it on away games too.
Scarlet: Which game has been the hardest this season?
Cotton: So for me I would say it was the Mount Holyoke game. They are a NEWMAC team and fierce competitors. We lost 5-1, and I think that has been the hardest game for me so far. NEWMAC teams are always tough, but they came out very strong and I don’t think the score reflects how we played. We had a lot of opportunities and a lot of close shots. Mt. Holyoke scored four goals in the first half, but Callie has been focusing on playing every minute like the score is 1-1.
Scarlet: Do you have any hobbies or hidden talents?
Cotton: [Laughs] I don’t have any talents except field hockey, but for hobbies I really like the Red Sox, so I like collecting Red Sox things.
Scarlet: What is the team dynamic like this year?
Cotton: Yeah, as I mentioned we have a very small team this year. A normal roster has at least 20 players. Our roster size is 16 with two goalies which means we don’t get a lot of subs in. But it doesn’t matter because as a team we all rally behind each other, and even though we have a small team we don’t let that be what defines us or our abilities. The team dynamic is strong on and off the field, which helps us and gives us an edge over bigger teams who aren’t great at playing well with each other.
Scarlet: If you could be trapped on a desert island with two people from the field hockey team, who would they be?
Cotton: I would pick Lauren Mackey (17’) and Gaby Deangelis (19’).
Scarlet: Okay, so why Lauren and Gaby?
Cotton: I would pick Lauren because she is my best friend and I live with her. She would be hilarious and always keep us laughing. She would be super positive considering the situation we’d be in. I would pick Gaby because she’s amazing and she is always level-headed in tough situations. I know she would be the one to get us off that island or turn it into a civilization.
Scarlet: What do you think you will remember most fondly about your time on the field hockey team?
Cotton: Easily my teammates. They are awesome and like a family to me. Over the past four years they have been my first friends, and have acted as an extended family for me at Clark. Even though they change every year with the addition of new first years and our seniors graduating, my teammates are the best and what I will most remember.
Thanks for the interview, Olivia!