FIELD HOCKEY: Kavanaugh shows promise as a freshman
The Daily News
The Ball State field hockey team is in the second half of the regular season with a 5-6 record. On the season, one freshman leads in goals.
Forward Lexi Kavanaugh also leads the team in points with 12 and is tied for shots on goal with 15.
Kavanaugh is from Sherrill, N.Y., and comes from a family full of athletes. Her mother was a gymnast, her father was a football player and her brother wrestles for Briar Cliff University.
“I like to be active,” she said. “I competed against my brother in almost every sport.”
Kavanaugh said she learned how to play field hockey from her neighbor who played at Cornell University.
“Whenever she was home, she would come over and teach me how to play,” Kavanaugh said. “Since then, I just fell in love with it.”
After earning four letter in high school, Kavanaugh’s success led her to meet Ball State head coach Beth Maddox.
“I worked with Lexi in a clinic, but I wasn’t sure how she would respond to me,” Maddox said.
At the time, Kavanaugh was in high school where she attended Vernon Verona Sherrill.
Leaving behind a career that also included volleyball and track and field, Kavanaugh said transitioning to college wasn’t a problem at all.
“I felt good about coming to Ball State every day,” Kavanaugh said.
Maddox wasn’t the only Ball State field hockey team member she met at the clinic, she also met junior Tori Widrick and her dad.
Widrick and Kavanaugh also lived in adjacent towns in New York, and they played for the same coach in different clubs in high school.
Kavanaugh’s coach and teammate offered high praise for the first-year forward.
“She’s really speedy,” Widrick said. “She has a knack for the gaps in the defenses, and she plays hard all the time.”
Maddox said the freshman still has work to do on the field.
“She has a very special skill set that still needs some fine-tuning,” she said. “Her mindset is still in process. Her skills are starting to click in the practices.”
Ball State hasn’t won a Mid-American Conference Championship since 1999 and hasn’t gone to the NCAA Tournament since 1997, but Kavanaugh said she isn’t disillusioned about the requirements to get to the postseason.
“I expected to work hard once I got here,” she said. “I want to get to the MAC championship.”