By TJ Millman
In recent years Milford Field Hockey has built a reputation for sending players on to the collegiate ranks. This year is no different with seniors Hayden Shockley, Margaret Sollie, and Daphne Leighty all three signing on to continue their field hockey careers at the next level. Another senior, Kate Melvin, will also be signing later on in April. Shockley will be playing for Montclair State University, Sollie will be playing for Neumann University, and Leighty will be playing for Shenandoah University.
Since 2010 Milford Field Hockey has had at least one player move on to play in college every year except for one. As each of the Milford seniors pointed out, this success is no accident. “I had so much support throughout the entire process. I knew no matter what I chose to do with my future, be that field hockey or soccer, I knew Coach Fleming would support me,” Leighty said.
Both Leighty and Sollie are also standouts on the Milford Soccer team and said that their choice really came down to the overwhelming amount of support that they received from their coach. “Coach Fleming told me that she would help me with anything that I needed in the recruitment process, and she was with me every step of the way,” Sollie said.
Milford Head Coach Andrea Fleming McPike has been with the program since 2010 and has been instrumental in building Milford into a perennial mainstay among the Delaware Field Hockey ranks. “I try to run my program similar to that of a college team, and I think that is why our program is so disciplined,” she said. All three players joked that Fleming McPike ran practices that made the idea of college practices seem less intimidating. The practices may be tough, but there is no denying that Fleming McPike gets the most out of her players as Milford finished 14-3 on the year, dropping their only games to Cape Henlopen once and Delmar twice.
Montclair commit Hayden Shockley said that she made her decision after visiting the Montclair team and observing the overall atmosphere. “The Montclair team felt like a family, and it was important for me to feel the same feeling that I felt at Milford in college,” she said. The feeling of family was present even during the signing process as students and parents packed the Milford cafeteria to cheer on the athletes.
When asked about the challenge of playing collegiately, all three girls expressed their excitement to play at the next level. A common piece of advice that each athlete had received from their coach was perseverance. They all credited the Milford coaching staff with teaching them to never give up on a game and to bounce back whenever a mistake is made. Talking with each player, it became very obvious that these girls were prepared. Signing Day was just another stop on their roads to success.
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