(Fun Facts, where we find out more about FCIAC athletes, was a regular feature on The Ruden Report Overtime newsletter. Until we start publishing the newsletter again, we are going to move it here to the site.)
A new Fun Facts with New Canaan field hockey player Marlee Smith.
— What’s a pregame tradition that you have? The only thing that comes to mind is singing and dancing on the bus with my teammates. I love a good dance to get the energy up and just get really excited for the game. I’m personally not very superstitious so I don’t have a real tradition that I do before every game.
— What makes your team special? I honestly think that the bond that we all have is like no other and is what keeps us winning. We can laugh and joke around off the field, and then when it comes time to play, everyone is ready and focused. We all have faith and trust in one another, and can rely on every single teammate to step up and do their part. We truly are a family and have such a strong team dynamic.
— How has your team adapted to the pandemic? Like every other team, it’s been tough and it has just been an all-around weird season, but we are just thankful that we are able to play. When you are only playing the same four teams, it’s super easy to slack off and just say, ‘Ah, we’ll get them next time,’ but our team has never stopped fighting. We know that any game we play could be our last so we are just trying to make the most out of what we are allowed to do.
— What’s your favorite memory from New Canaan field hockey now that you are a senior? I mean four years is a lot of time to pick just one memory. I’ve been on the same team for four years and each year we make new memories so it’s extremely hard to pick just one. I think if I had to chose it would be when we beat Darien last year. It was the first time we had beat them in a very long time and the energy was unmatched. You don’t get times very often when everyone is giving absolutely everything they have, and to be able to finally win is something you never forget. We all ran together and gave the biggest group hug and was just such a good moment. That bus ride home was also extremely loud and fun.
— You scored the game-winning goal against Darien with minutes to go on Tuesday. What was going through your mind at that moment? In that moment the only thing in my mind was get the ball in the cage. I literally didn’t know what was gonna happen or how anything would turn out but I had one goal and luckily I was able to succeed. I had the ball on my stick and had a split second to shoot, and I just pushed it in the net.
— Whats your favorite pregame song? This is a very tough question but if I had to chose it would be “FEELING GUD” by Nghtmre. I have no clue why but every time that song comes on the speaker I can just feel the good vibes. It makes me wanna dance and it honestly just gets me excited to play.
— What is your favorite part about playing field hockey? I mean I love field hockey for so many reasons and a big one is my team and just the amount of fun that we all have every single day. I have created relationships with girls that will last for so long and the laughs and memories are unforgettable. But my absolute favorite part of the game is those last five or seven minutes in a tough game and you see every single person giving everything that they have. Everybody is working and fighting and then, like in our Darien game, you score and your whole team just jumps around gives you so much love. Or when the game ends and we all sprint to our goalie and all hug each other. Those are the moments that really make all of the hard work and pain worth it. I play for those moments of pure happiness that we work insanely hard for.
— What was a goal that you have for this season? Unfortunately, this year we don’t have a traditional FCIAC or state championship tournament and our season will be coming to an end next week. We have a semifinal game on Tuesday which we hope to win, and hopefully a final game on Thursday. We are going to give everything that we can to make this season count. Our goal is to win the championship.