Following the long line of women in the Reilly family who have sported a skirt and mouth guard, it came as no surprise when Trish Reilly ’16, the youngest of three sisters, signed up for her first field hockey clinic at the age of nine. From there on, the sport would hold an important place in her life for years to come.
“I did a little clinic with my friend Maggie [Lynch ’16] because my mom had played field hockey in college and loved it, so she introduced me to it at a young age, and I fell in love with it too.” Reilly said.
The initial spark from Reilly’s first clinic prompted her to join the Total Dutch Field Hockey Club, based in Somerset, NJ, a year later. Reilly credits her club involvement for preparing her to play at the high school level.
“Playing against girls that are committed to great schools and girls that are training all year long is definitely nerve-wracking but gives you confidence to play at the next level,” Reilly said.
Reilly’s goal when she started at PHS was to spend all four seasons as a member of the varsity team, using her experience at the club level to earn a spot on the squad.
“Going into PHS, I definitely wanted to be a four-year varsity player and once that happened I really, really wanted to be captain,” Reilly said. Head Coach Heather Serverson named Reilly and Julia Snyder ’16 as captains for this season at last year’s end-of-season banquet.
Along with Reilly’s role as co-captain, she is also center midlfielder, which gives her the opportunity to set up most of the plays on the field.
“With the position that I’m in this year, I have the vision of the entire field and I can dish it out,” Reilly said. “I’m almost like a point guard and I can just set girls up for their great shots.”
“I think she’s embraced [her new role],” Serverson said. “Especially the more difficult parts where you have to call people out on things and make sure things are running smoothly and I think that it’s working well.”
After her final season at PHS, Reilly will continue her athletic endeavors at the Division I collegiate level.
“I’m committed to Lehigh [University] to play field hockey,” Reilly said. “My goals are to be the best that I can be once I get to that level and not lose the confidence that I have, while maybe trying to get some playing time in and just [to] have fun and learn more everyday.”
“I think she’ll be very successful [at Lehigh],” Serverson said. “She’s a very coachable athlete. She comes from a sports-minded family and [I] don’t see her having any issues. I think she will definitely excel.”