Athlete of the Month: Faith Kean

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Athlete of the Month: Faith Kean

Sophomore Faith Kean navigates the ball around an opponent during a game against WJ

Sophomore Faith Kean navigates the ball around an opponent during a game against WJ

Photo by Melanie Twomey

Sophomore Faith Kean navigates the ball around an opponent during a game against WJ

Photo by Melanie Twomey

Photo by Melanie Twomey

Sophomore Faith Kean navigates the ball around an opponent during a game against WJ

By Michael Fox, Editor-In-Chief

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Dorothy Kean, mother of sophomore Faith Kean, originally liked that her daughter played field hockey because it was a “safe sport.” But as she watched her daughter progress as a student-athlete, she noticed her daughter’s talents shine on the ‘fockey’ field.

Kean played soccer and lacrosse in the beginning of middle school, but decided to try out field hockey before she got ready for high school.

“I began [field hockey] as cross training for lacrosse, but I grew to love the sport,” Kean said. “A friend told me about playing field hockey, so I tried it out.”

Having to play both offense and defense, Kean faced the difficulties of playing tougher, more experienced competition as a freshman on a varsity team.

“Last year I was the only freshman on varsity, so it was a little intimidating at first, but all of the girls were very welcoming and made me feel at home,” Kean said.

Kean shines not only on the field hockey field, but also manages her busy schedule of school work and extracurriculars including Model UN, Mock Trial and SGA.

“She tries to do her best in everything she does,” Dorothy said. “She does a lot of other activities, so there is a lot of time management, but even though she does a lot of things, she juggles it very well just like she juggles her position on the field and tries to do everything the best she can.”

When asked to describe Kean in three words, head field hockey coach Cay Miller chose, “focused, hardworking and driven.” With Kean’s mental toughness and dedicated work ethic, she practices at a top level so she can perform that way in games.

“She leads by example,” Miller said. “She always does what she’s supposed to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a game, or if it’s practice, she always gives 100 percent.”

Although Kean is talented physically, her attitude and mental awareness on the field allow her to communicate with teammates and work the ball around the field effectively.

“She has a knack for thinking a play ahead,” Miller said. “She can anticipate defensively where the other team is about to pass the ball, and she intercepts very well. She can also think about where our next pass will be  and she can get herself set up quickly in position and make sure she gets her chance.”

The Bulldogs lost several key seniors from last year including Carly Kabelac, Emily Raab, Olivia Shannon and Sophie Asher, as well as several other players who decided not to try out this year.

Despite having to overcome the obstacle of redeveloping a starting roster, the girls prepared well in the preseason and trained hard to get to their 5-3 record this season.

“Our summer season started in the beginning of August, and our preseason started with a lot of workouts and conditioning because we lost a lot of people since last year,” Kean said. “We need to play as a team on the field and grow as a team off the field.”

Kean has contributed to the team’s success this year, posting 4 goals and 2 assists in the first 6 games of the season.

According to Kean, she looks up to junior co-midfielder Jocelyn Kelley and senior Annie Moshyedi. She admires Moshyedi’s bravery and continuous dedication to the team after Moshyedi tore her ACL, and she plays side by side with Kelley on both sides of the field.

“I can always trust [Kean] to do the right thing and I consider her my right hand man because I know she always makes the right play,” Kelley said.

Kean hopes to continue to contribute to the team’s success this season by improving on her stick skills and conditioning, as well as her mental approach to the game.

According to Kean, she has worked on her individual skills so she can contribute more to the team play this year. She is also working on having more confidence this year carrying the ball up field after last year when she was nervous and new to the high school level of field hockey.

Kean and the Bulldogs aim to win districts this year, which means beating 10-1 rival Wootton in the process. The team had key wins against Whitman 2-1 in double overtime Sept. 28 and against WJ 2-1 Oct. 6.

“My favorite thing about our team this year is the team bond, and our team motto this year is ‘it takes two to tango.’” Kean said.