Lady Cavaliers formalize field hockey commitmentsPublished 10:21pm Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Some of the foremost stars from Lakeland’s field hockey team made prior collegiate decisions official by signing on the dotted line Wednesday during a ceremony at Lakeland High School.
Kristen Vick signed with Old Dominion University, Alexis and Jamee Albright committed to play for and attend the Virginia Commonwealth University and Kelsey O’Leary clinched her decision to go to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
“It’s special,” said Tara Worley, the girls’ head coach with the Lady Cavs for their entire careers. “It’s neat that this was such a talented group.”
They spearheaded a 22-1 season in 2013, and over the last four years, the team went 78-8.
To be signing to play field hockey for four more years in college, Vick said, “It’s definitely an honor, and I’m really glad I got to spend this day with my friends, as well, so it’s pretty cool.”
She was given insight into how to make the final decision of which college to go to.
“I always had people tell me that right when I found the school that I was going to attend I was going to feel it, and I was going to know that that was the school, and once I got to Old Dominion, I felt it, and I’m very happy with my decision,” she said.
Vick is a four-year letterman in field hockey, and will be reunited on the field with former Lakeland star Kelsey Smither at ODU.
Also soon to be competing on the Division I level are the Albright twins.
“It’s crazy, but it’s really awesome to know that we’re going to go and play at a higher level, and I think it’s going to be fun to bond with a new team and know field hockey outside of high school,” Alexis Albright said.
“I think it’s just a big blessing to be able to have this opportunity,” Jamee Albright added.
Though this could have been a point in which the sisters could have parted ways, Jamee Albright said, “We always wanted to go to the same place.”
VCU became a favorite from their freshman year. They knew teammate Kendell Combs was headed there and they were exposed to the school, and vice versa, at the state championship game.
“VCU saw us, and we knew Kendell was going there, and we just loved the people there, the coaches, and it all just kind of fell into place, because then our majors were there, too,” Alexis Albright said.
The twins were both four-year lettermen in field hockey at Lakeland.
Kelsey O’Leary, a three-year field hockey letterman, heads to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, which is a Division II school.
Knowing the respect her skills commanded from a college institution, she said, “It feels really good. It’s nice to know that my hard work has paid off, and I’m excited to take it to the next level.”
IUP became her choice when she made a campus visit.
“I talked with all the players and the coach, I could feel that it was the right place for me,” she said. “They automatically brought me in, they treated me like I was already one of them, and it was a family atmosphere, and I loved it.”
Summer Parker and Kasey Smith were prepared to sign their commitments to Radford University, but were informed on Tuesday that the school had decided to discontinue its field hockey program. They still participated in the ceremony and wore ODU gear to show support for Vick.
Parker and Smith are in the process of searching for another college field hockey opportunity.