Sophomore goalkeeper Molly Edmark brings leadership to the field even in a defensive position
Nothing can get past sophomore goalkeeper Molly Edmark, especially a moment of poor sportsmanship or low morale on the field hockey team.
Edmark came to Keene State after being recruited by field hockey head coach Amy Watson. However, it was advice from her guidance counselor at Plymouth Regional High School that put Keene State’s field hockey program on her radar.
“My guidance counselor had said from the very beginning before I was even at the high school level that if I was going to play field hockey, and I wanted to play field hockey in college, I better be going to Keene,” Edmark said. “And I kind of like I laughed about it and I brushed that off a little bit.”
When it came time to look for a college to play at, however, Edmark came back to the idea of Keene State. She created a connection with Watson who went to watch Edmark play.
“Coach Watson, my senior year [of high school], reached out to me saying that they would love to see me play and see if I would like to be a part of the program,” Edmark said.” And I was like, ‘Oh my god yes.’ It like even a question for me.”
The Keene State field hockey program is well-known in the state with 14 Little East Conference (LEC) Championship wins. Edmark said it was the attitude and discipline of the program as much as it was the accolades they had.
“It is [special]. There’s no doubt about that,” Edmark agreed. “I think Coach Watson has bred a program that has been brought up through like a lot of pride and a lot of tradition, and with that comes certain expectations. What they’re expecting from me, and she expects from us and we expect that on each other. So, I think that it is just a healthy environment. You know that every girl that you’re with is going through the same thing you are and I think that’s just what makes us stronger as a team.”
Junior captain Chase Lambert agrees that the program is a healthy environment, but she believes Edmark is partly to thank for the positivity this season. “She’s just a really hard worker,” Lambert explained. “She’s very motivational. We’ve had some pretty tough losses, but even though she’s the goalie, you would expect them to be like the most upset but she’s still just in the back just saying ‘Work hard, work hard, keep going.’ And she’s the one who pushes us to have positive attitudes in practice and then tough games.”
Because there was no conference play this season, the field hockey team has a large number of players who have never played in LEC competition. There are 19 firstyears and sophomores on the team, including Edmark. However, Lambert said that Edmark has risen to every challenge and goes on the field with the leadership of a captain.
“Obviously we have captains but I don’t think a band defines anything. If your leader, you’ll know and she’s definitely one of those players that if she doesn’t need a band,” Lambert said. “She’s going to be one of the loudest people on the field and most motivational so she’s a really great example of not needing a solidification of being a captain to be a leader on this team and that’s what we need because we do have a really young team this year. So, we have like seven returners…and then a lot of underclassmen so she is really good with leading them.”
Edmark explained how she has led some of her teammates out of difficult situations, including arguments on the team and low morale. The beginning of this season has been different for the team because they are adapting to having only a few girls who have played on the team before. Edmark uses her positive mindset to help impact the morale of the team. “I think we’re going through that [difficult situation] right now… We are getting through it by just remaining trying to remain as positive as we can,” Edmark said. “We’re all going to be there for each other and we’re all going to support each other for the sake of the future of the program and what that will make us be in the long run.”
Lambert agreed that having a positive role model on the team is key to keeping everyone invested in the game. She described a situation a few weeks ago that exemplifies how Edmark’s positive outlook changes the attitude of the entire team. “I can’t remember where we were, but it was just, we were getting all frustrated and warm-ups everyone was kind of going back and forth and she just stepped in and was like ‘Everyone stop. Deep breath. All we need to do is work hard and have positive attitudes’ and we played a really good game. It was just nice to hear like somebody being level-headed and just being like ‘Enough.’”
One of the toughest losses field hockey has had this season was against Amherst College where they lost 7-0. However, Edmark describes this as one of the moments she is most proud of this season. Keene State took on a nationally ranked team and instead of giving up early on, the team fought all the way through.
“We knew going into that game that it was going to be a really hard game, and we lost that game,” Edmark said. “But at the end of the game when the final whistle had blown, I was kind of just looking at the field and I was looking at all of the underclassmen that were on that field. They were able to remain so composed and continue to play with a drive that it didn’t even feel like we were losing. It felt like we were just working hard as a collective unit, which is something that is so important…”
Edmark is a secondary education and history double major, but she hopes to also coach field hockey in the future so she can instill some of this knowledge onto others. This goal doesn’t seem unachievable as her captain and friend Lambert said the one word to describe Edmark would be amazing. “She amazes me with how hard she works and how positive she is, but also how she takes charge of the field from the goal and leads everyone. She’s a natural leader.”