Sports Person of the Week
Wiegman Ready for Different Kind of Season
Lauren Wiegman is taking the reins as a senior captain for the Valley Regional field hockey team this season. Lauren can play multiple positions, but will most likely be up front on the attack with the Warriors. (Photo courtesy of Lauren Wiegman )
Lauren Wiegman has had a productive career with the Valley Regional field hockey team. As she enters her senior season, Lauren is stepping into a new leadership role as a captain for a Warriors’ club that has aspirations of being one of the top squads in the Shoreline Conference.
Lauren, a forward, has contributed to some successful seasons at Valley in recent years. The Warriors have been a contender in their conference throughout Lauren’s tenure, and she feels proud about what they’ve accomplished. Even though Valley hasn’t been able to take home a banner, Lauren takes great pride in how hard the Warriors have worked to make regular appearances in both the Shoreline Conference Tournament and the Class S State Tournament.
“We’ve made it through a few rounds in the Shoreline Tournament and also states. There were even a couple of years that we made it to the championship [of Shorelines],” says Lauren. “We lost, but we worked super hard. We put our best foot forward.”
Lauren’s career at Valley has been a journey that led to her becoming a senior captain this year. Lauren plans to take everything that she’s learned over the course of her career and apply on the field in her final high school campaign.
“I feel like I’ve been working really hard toward this since the moment I joined the team. It’s really rewarding to be one of those people that the group looks up to. I like having that sense of leadership and being a person on the team that anyone can go to both in and out of school,” Lauren says. “I’m really lucky that I’ve had my coaches and the previous captains as role models of what to do when I got here. I want to put everything that I’ve learned forward in my own time as a captain.”
Lauren is a solid tactician on the attack. While she knows that she has to take open shots when she has the chance, Lauren also tries to create as many opportunities for her teammates as possible. Scoring goals is always important, but Lauren knows that there are numerous ways to help her team besides putting the ball past the keeper herself.
“I would describe myself as a situational shooter. I try to be as open as I can for a pass and, if I have an open opportunity to shoot, I have to take it. I try really hard to cut to open space, so we don’t get bunched up in the middle of the field. I drag out to the sidelines more, so I can be that open up the field more,” says Lauren. “I also have a pretty strong cross to switch the ball to the other side of the field if there are a ton of defenders coming on. I can send the ball to the other side of the field to an open player and, hopefully, they get a goal.”
While being a captain is a big responsibility, that isn’t even the biggest change for Lauren this year. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a major concern all over the world, Lauren feels like even having a field hockey season in 2020 is somewhat of a victory. The Warriors have had to overcome numerous challenges to get to this point, and Lauren is sure that there will be plenty more that present themselves.
“It was difficult in the summer. I feel like we get more acquainted with new players over the summer and get up to snuff on our skills. We didn’t have that opportunity this year,” Lauren says. “People have been adapting really well, though. Up until this week, we could only have an hour practice, and half of that had to be fitness. It was hard to get the freshmen up to speed on skills. Defense was just added recently. I’m just happy to have a season or practices at all, even if we don’t get a full season. I’m just happy I’m able to play my senior year.”
Head Coach Beth McCabe Powers has worked with Lauren for the past three seasons and knew that the senior would make a great captain. Being a captain requires a certain disposition, and McCabe Powers believes that Lauren’s abilities and attitude will help her be an ideal leader.
“Lauren is truly a joy to work with. Her strong attack skills, coupled with her confidence, make her an excellent captain,” McCabe Powers says. “She is so helpful to the younger players, and her welcoming personality is second to none. I am looking forward to celebrating Lauren’s senior season with many successes.”
With the shortened season, Lauren and her teammates will only be playing against fellow Shoreline Conference opponents this fall. There are 10 regular-season games on the schedule, after which the Shoreline Conference is slated to hold a tournament that features all six teams in the league. Every team has its challenges this year, and Lauren feels that the Warriors have done an excellent job of persevering through the adversity.
“I feel like even though we lost a few players, we’ve recovered really well. The younger girls on the team are stepping up and showing a lot of potential. The dynamic is really good, and everyone is trying different positions to fill in,” says Lauren. “I think we have a good chance in the conference this year. I think we’re looking really good considering we’ve only had a month or so of practice.”