Cougar of the Week: Lauren Mackey

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by Scott Levine

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Image: Scott Levine

First-year Lauren Mackey has had nothing short of a meteoric rise after playing forward for the Clark field hockey team for three games. She scored four goals against Becker College and another against Nichols College in a tense 2-1 victory. She hails from Dublin, New Hampshire, also plays for the Clark softball team, and has been playing Field Hockey since 7th grade. However, scoring an inundation of goals is not necessarily something she is used to.

Scarlet: What was your initial reaction to the Becker game where you scored your first four goals of the season?

Lauren: I don’t even know. I went through high school without scoring and I played midfielder and defense. My coach kind of threw me in as a forward. After scoring four goals, it almost felt unreal, like it didn’t really happen. I was nervous during the beginning of the game, but by the end of it, I was so relaxed. It was different and it was weird.

Scarlet: If somebody told you at the beginning of the season, “Hey Lauren, after three games, you’re going to have five goals”, what would your response be?

Lauren: I would have been like, “hmmmm I might, who knows? Anything can happen” (Laughs). Definitely wouldn’t have thought it would happen.

Scarlet: I know when one accomplishes something really cool, sometimes it’s hard to put that in the past and keep moving. What keeps you moving forward?

Lauren: Since I don’t know the teams we play against, I just think that anything could happen. So I put aside that I scored that many goals and I tell myself I just need to work on passing and playing the game, and whatever happens is going to happen.

Scarlet: So you’re not assuming that just because you had success in the past means you’ll keep having it. That you still have to work for it.

Lauren: Oh definitely, I don’t think it’s going to come that easy. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and hope for the best.

Scarlet: How has your team helped you succeed?

Lauren: The whole forward line and the midfielders, and really the whole team is really close and together. It’s not just one person out there… we’re really a whole team.

Scarlet: How have they reacted to your streak?

Lauren: They’re really supportive. Everyone’s really happy and we’re just trying to keep going. Kaya Murphy scored. Maria Manning’s been scoring. So it’s not just been one person, it’s everyone and we’re all really supportive of each other.

Scarlet: It’s really beneficial to have a good environment like that if you want to succeed.

Lauren: Yeah, in preseason we didn’t know each other at first, but now we’re definitely a team.

Scarlet: So it seems like you’ve been through much more than just three games.

Lauren: Yeah, definitely.

Scarlet: That’s really good to have that backbone, especially as a freshman when you’re new to college field hockey.

Lauren: Exactly. At first it can be intimidating, but I’ve been able to adapt and get to know everyone and we’re all equal. There’s not one person that’s better, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I like that about Clark field hockey.

Scarlet: What major games do you have coming up?

Lauren: This coming week I think we’re playing UMass Dartmouth, and then we play Elms and Babson on Saturday. I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be tough, but I think we can do it.

Scarlet: And so you’re mentality going into those games is that although you’ve scored five goals, every game is a new challenge.

Lauren: Exactly, and I’m probably going to have a target on my back because of the goals, but there’s so many other people on my team that I know can score four goals in a game.

Scarlet: I’m obsessed with basketball, and one of Larry Bird’s favorite things that he did was after he scored a lot and the defense focused in on him, he would use that as an opportunity to set up his teammates.

Lauren: Yeah, that’s kind of my mentality too. I’m just going to keep passing and passing.

Scarlet: I really think it’s interesting how you’re able to take a step back from all the goals you’ve scored and have the insight to say, “okay what’s best for my team right now?”

Lauren: I’ve always been that person, that, if I’m doing well, I’m going to work really hard, but I’m going to make sure the other people are contributing. I feel you’re stronger that way.

Scarlet: Because really, you can’t do it alone.

Lauren: Exactly, and I’ve never been like that. It’s never been a one person thing.

Scarlet: That’s a good mentality to have, especially in field hockey where you can’t go that fast with the ball. Therefore, passing is very key.

Lauren: Yeah. People should just come and see the competitiveness we have and the teamwork we have. The games are fun to watch, even if you don’t know field hockey.

Scarlet: Which teams are going to be particularly challenging?

Lauren: I think Babson’s going to be really hard, but that’s just what I’ve heard the other girls say. Being a freshman, I don’t know our opponents that well.

Scarlet: Do you feel like the team has a ways to go competition-wise? I know that Nichols is not having the best season so far. I’m not saying that wasn’t a good win or anything. I’m just wondering if you think there’s another echelon of teams that you have yet to play against.

Lauren: Yeah, we’re definitely going to compete against harder teams, and our goal is just to compete and try to win.

Scarlet: Nice. And even if you haven’t been against the level of play of some of the better teams, you have momentum from your previous wins.

Lauren: We really wanted to make sure that we had some solid wins underneath us to put us in a good position.

Scarlet: I remember that one of my coaches always said that wins and losses aren’t the main focus for the team, they’re a by-product of the main focus. And the main focus is just to have good chemistry and play the sport well.

Lauren: I like that. That’s good. I definitely agree with that.

Scarlet: And it’s good to have that mentality in your situation, to not be to goal oriented (no pun intended), to not be bent on achieving things and putting the ball in the net.

Lauren: Definitely, it makes me think, “I got this”.