Sports Person of the Week
Goddard Finishes Quality Career with Hand Field Hockey
Senior forward Grace Goddard is a top scorer for the Hand field hockey squad, but her athletic prowess doesn’t stop there. (Photo courtesy of Grace Goddard )
Grace Goddard has always had a knack for athletics. Grace started with ice hockey and then transitioned into field hockey, while picking up a few other sports along the way.
Grace recently completed her senior season as a member of the field hockey team at Daniel Hand High School. It was another successful year for the Tigers, who finished with a record of 8-4 on their way to making the SCC Division A semifinals. It means a lot to Grace that she and her fellow seniors had an opportunity to compete this fall.
“My favorite moment from this season was when on Senior Night, all of the girls I had been playing with since middle school had one last chance to really all be together playing on the field,” Grace says. “The best thing about the sport is the fact that it’s entirely a team effort. No one individual can carry the team by themselves.”
Grace started playing field hockey at a Beach & Recreation clinic when she was nine. Grace had been playing ice hockey since age three and quickly got the hang of life on the field hockey circuit.
“I loved the team mentality of the sport,” says Grace. “Easing into field hockey was sort of a natural transition.”
Grace, a forward, was the top scorer for Hand with 13 goals and three assists in her junior season. Head Coach Sue Leckey says that Grace is the type of player who helps the Tigers create the foundation for a winning culture.
“Grace...can be credited for setting the tone in each season for establishing that we would be competitors,” Leckey says. “Grace worked hard every day without being asked to demand the most from herself. She was critical to our offensive flow the past two seasons.”
While Grace brought exceptional skills to the field, she also did great job of connecting with her teammates off the field in order to build a strong team dynamic among the Tigers. Coach Leckey appreciates Grace’s efforts in both regards.
“Grace is positive, upbeat, and fun to have out there, while at the same time focused and disciplined,” says Leckey. “Grace has a way of making things happen on the field. She was always fun to watch and never stopped surprising the coaches or her teammates with what she could make happen at the offensive end. She will be hard to replace. She plays unselfish, gritty field hockey.”
When Grace isn’t playing field hockey, she competes for the Hand boys’ swimming and diving team as a diver during the winter season and then plays for the girls’ lacrosse team in the spring. No matter what sport she’s participating in, Grace likes training with her teammates in order to improve her game.
“My friends from the team and I all like to go out and train on the field, do stick skills, and running,” says Grace. “This is a lot of fun and never feels like work to us, because we truly love the game and each other.”
The Hand field hockey team will be losing one of its best scoring threats when Grace graduates. However, Grace feels confident that everything is going to be just fine for the Tigers in 2021.
“Next season for Hand, I have very high expectations and hopes,” Grace says. “I know that we have fantastic players at all grade levels, so the future of Hand field hockey looks very bright.”