Freshman Power Duo


Lucy Hager and Ansley McGowan are starting freshmen on varsity, but how did they get here? Field hockey has been a part of Hager’s life for years as she grew up playing with her older sister Huntleigh Hager, she fell in love with the game the first day she touched her stick. 


“When I was younger, my mom thought that field hockey would be a fun sport for my sister and I to try because she had never really heard anything about it before.” When Hager was seven, she was handed a “crazy, colorful, Cranberry Field Hockey stick” and told to just “figure it out.”


And wow, she did. Hager was clearly more skilled than others her age and in love with the sport. Although she was set back mentally due to an unfortunate placement on a club team that did not seem to have her back as much as they claimed to, she gathered a few friends on that team and they all switched to a new club around the same time. Gateway Field Hockey Club cured Hager of her mental blocks and helped to mold her into the player she is today.


 “Gateway is awesome, all the coaches are firm but loving. You can tell they care more about you than if they win tournaments. But don’t get me wrong, they still push you to your limits.” 


Hager is currently flourishing in her freshman season with 6 goals and 7 assists. The returning varsity players would have never guessed that a girl this young was so fast and skilled. 


“Varsity pushes me to my max and even though sometimes it can be challenging, I am thankful to have my teammates to consistently help me back up when I fail. Even though I joined this year I feel like I have known them all forever. Our bond is special,” said Hager.


Her fellow varsity freshman teammate, Ansley McGowan, also embraces her insane skills by getting the ball down the field and right in the circle for Hager every time. McGowan started playing field hockey when she was eight years old.


 “I just kinda tried it out because my mom knew other kids who were playing and I needed to channel my energy in something new after quitting gymnastics,” said McGowan


She picked up the game so quickly it seemed to come naturally. McGowan never fails to swipe the ball away from her opponents and make plays that are crucial in her team’s wins. McGowan has the drive to succeed. 


“My aggression has definitely helped me perform to the standards that I’m held to but I give a lot of the credit for my skill to the club practices at Gateway because you are always surrounded by someone better than you,” said McGowan. 


When she started club field hockey, she used the fact that she was not the best to push her to become the best. After coming to Westminster in seventh grade she was constantly looking forward to her high school season.


 “I was pretty excited when getting placed on varsity this year. It was a bit nerve wracking to be honest because almost all of the players are older.” Age is just a number to McGowan and she proves it in every game and practice. 


These two are a power duo, with them being so young they are continuing to inspire middle school girls who are younger than them and showing them that they can do it too. Hager and McGowan have known each other since kindergarten which gives them the benefit of having an off-field connection and friendship. Without this duo on the forward line the field hockey Cats would not be having this great of a start to their season. 


Senior defensive starter Amelia Bendick has grown deep relationships with both players, she says “I don’t know what we would do without them, and I don’t know what I’m going to do without them next year when I’m playing in college.” 


With the Cats record at 12-4-1, they will continue to succeed in the playoffs with Hager and McGowan’s ambition to come out on top every time.