Charlotte Marks ’23.5, from Manchester, Mass., is a Senior Feb on the Field Hockey Team. She plays defense and has been named to two NFHCA All Region First Teams and two All-NESCAC Second teams. In this installment of “Seven Questions,” Marks discusses how the team prepares for a field hockey game, why she came to Middlebury and her least favorite building on campus.
Ryan Heinzerling: How did you become interested in field hockey?
Charlotte Marks: Field hockey is weird in the sense that most people don’t start playing until high school because middle schools don't have it, and town programs don't often exist for young kids. However, I was lucky enough that the players at the high school in my town put on a field hockey clinic for fourth and fifth graders when I was in fourth grade. I really looked up to the high school girls coaching the clinic and was fortunate that my middle school and high school both had great field hockey programs that I was able to join thereafter. I had some amazing coaches in the years that followed who really just grew my love for the game that much more and encouraged me to keep pursuing the sport.
RH: What goes into prepping for a game?
CM: Before every game, not only do we watch film individually but our coaches spend a lot of hours parsing through film, and they prepare a scouting report for us. This includes things like key players, our opponent's offensive and defensive tendencies and how we will adjust our style of play for the type of team we are facing. We focus on being a different team (in terms of strategy — large or small) every time that we play a game, so that we are less predictable to our opponents. We also spend lots of time preparing for offensive and defensive penalty corners which often change depending on the game.
RH: Obviously, a killer year this year, and Midd’s won it all every year you’ve been here. Does each championship feel different and just as exciting as the others?
CM: Every championship has been so different and has definitely been just as exciting every time. Part of that comes from slightly different team dynamics each year as seniors graduate and new first-years arrive, but I think there's also an aspect of "growing up" as a member of the team that makes each year so different — new perspectives, evolving goals, relationship building, etc. Additionally, Coach DeLorenzo is always aiming to grow the game and elevate the level of hockey; this comes with constantly evolving strategies for our team. So, the team we were in 2019 (my first year) and the team we were this past season were incredibly different from a hockey standpoint. Not to mention how our opponents have also evolved and challenge us in different ways each time we play them.
RH: Why Middlebury?
CM: I've always loved the mountains and exploring, and I sensed that the people I would meet at Midd would share some of my same interests. Middlebury had everything I was looking for: a smaller student body, programs in the sciences that interested me, access to skiing, great field hockey and amazing coaches.
RH: Least favorite building on campus?
CM: The Freeman International Center (super weird building).
RH: Favorite memory of field hockey thus far?
CM: There are so many, but one that comes to mind is practicing in a snowstorm the night before leaving for NCAAs last year. The practice was all business as usual until the snow started accumulating on the field to the point where the ball was more like a snowball. People started slipping here and there and it eventually turned into all of us making snow angels and dancing on the field under the lights while the snow fell.
RH: Who do you look up to most in the sport?
CM: I honestly can't think of one specific person, but I enjoy watching the national team play and there have always been older players on the teams I've been on that I have looked up to and learned so much from over the years.
Ryan Heinzerling '24 (he/him/his) is one of the Sports Editors!
He's studying English and Political Science. Outside of his studies, Ryan is also a member of the Middlebury College Ski Patrol, has a radio show at WRMC, and spent this previous summer working as a Corporate Partners Intern at the New York Mets!