Sports

Lakeland Leader a Field Hockey Sensation

Hornet Kelsey McCrudden controls during a game at Somers last week. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

Lakeland senior Kelsey McCrudden is a midfielder on the varsity field hockey team. She’s also on the Lakeland/Panas girls lacrosse squad.

How old were you when you started playing field hockey and how did you get started?

I was 7 (second grade) when I first started playing field hockey. Shrub Oak field hockey starts in third grade but I was always at the field watching my older sister play and wanting to be involved so my current coach, Sharon Sarsen, who also runs SOAC field hockey, gave me the opportunity to play in the third and fourth grade league.

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What do you think are your strengths as a field hockey player?

I think that my strongest qualities as a player are my communication and leadership on the field. This allows me to help my teammates through game situations and ease younger players’ nerves.

As a senior on the team this year, how do you see your role as a leader?

This year I’m focusing on keeping the team morale up and trying to be a person that the younger kids can come to if they’re having a hard time or need advice because I was the younger kid on the team at one point and I know how intimidating it was.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates?

This year my fellow captains and I decided that we should give every player a sticker before each game. The stickers give us a little comfort or represent something that we could strive to be better at during the game.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

My biggest role model has been my older sister, Erin. She is on the U.S.A. women’s field hockey national team and she’s taught me to always be humble. She also taught me that you can achieve anything you set your mind to, as she is one of only four New Yorkers on the National team today.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I don’t have a sense of smell.

What does it mean to be able to play for Lakeland?

Playing for a program like Lakeland and Sars is incredible. Being able to be a part of amazing traditions has allowed me to become the best possible player I could be and afforded me every opportunity to continue with the sport I love at the next level.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

Unsure but I want to take the pre-med track.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

Aaron Judge. Yankees!

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

I listen to the warmup our team made before every game.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

The power of healing because too many people are suffering and it would ease so many peoples’ pain.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

Ireland because both of my great grandparents are from there and I would love to visit where my ancestors grew up.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

Before a game I like to eat a PB&J on toast made by yours truly and after my favorite food is my mom’s homemade penne alla vodka.

Best place to eat in Lakeland and why?

Bob-B-Q’s. Anything on the menu is amazing, but they make the best pulled pork sandwiches.

What advice would you give to a young field hockey player growing up in Lakeland?

Lakeland field hockey is not for everyone. If you’re willing to take on the challenge and put in the time and work by going to the turf, the opportunities and life lessons you will get back in this program are priceless.

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