Salerno: a growing asset for RMC

Published 9:37 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

Former Lady Cav Ariel Salerno’s freshman season at Randolph-Macon College was filled with hard work and success.

One of Lakeland High School’s former field hockey goalies is preparing for her second season in the RMC program. During her freshman season, she played in four games for the Lady Yellow Jackets and started one of them. She finished with 21 saves with a .750 save percentage.

Adjusting from the high school level of field hockey to the college level was a little tough for the former Lady Cav. She described the adjustment as a “whole new game” but was thankful for the help provided to her from teammates and coaches. Salerno came into her freshman season with two other goalkeepers but earned a spot to be one of the team’s top four goalkeepers for the season.

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Although freshman field hockey goalkeepers rarely get playing time, she earned her first collegiate start early in the season against Goucher College at the USA National Field Hockey Training Center in Virginia Beach. She had seven saves in the first half. It was a great moment for Salerno’s career, because the same field where she made her first collegiate start is the same field where she first played field hockey.

Ariel Salerno is looking forward to her sophomore year at Randolph-Macon College. She played in four games last season with one start.

“It was exciting to start my collegiate career on the same field where I began playing field hockey,” she said. “I was cheered on by family, friends and former high school and club teammates and coaches.”

She is hoping that in her sophomore year, she can earn more time. Her coach has faith in her and hasn’t been shy to give Salerno playing time if she felt like she deserved it.

“Coach Dubbs has faith in me as well as the rest of the goalies,” she said. “Whoever was working the hardest, she would put in. It’s always a process of learning and growing as an asset for the team and to be better than I was yesterday.”

Salerno not only makes sure she gets it done on the field but off the field as well. She majors in chemistry and minors in secondary education in hopes of becoming a chemistry teacher in the future. That causes for a rigorous academic schedule for student-athlete. Salerno had placed out of a lot of freshman level classes due to her Advanced Placement and dual-credit courses at Lakeland.

In January, Salerno was a part of a study abroad trip to study French literature in Paris, France.  She spent two weeks there. Right now, Salerno is at RMC, as she was selected to participate in the RMC Summer Curriculum Development Program at the Science Museum of Virginia.

“Overall, I am thrilled with my choice of RMC and my accomplishments in my first year of college,” Salerno said. “I have grown so much as a student and as a person.  I am learning more than I ever imagined, and I am improving every day.”