SWANTON — MVU field hockey player, Natalee Harvey, scored two goals Saturday’s game against Lyndon (3-1, MVU) and netted goals in three of this season’s games.
This year, Harvey, a mid-fielder throughout her high school career, was moved to forward line.
“Natalee is a quiet leader on the field. As a senior, the concepts she is learning this year are very different from her previous experience, and she is picking them up quickly and proving that out on the field,” said coach Mel Hurlbut.
“When she doesn’t understand, she is quick to ask questions and not afraid to give the new information a fighting chance on the field.
“She is a smart player who works hard to get to the ball and doesn’t give up when it’s in arms reach. She’s a key part of the forward line.”
Harvey, a multi-sport athlete at MVU, began playing field hockey in the seventh grade.
“I love the team bonding aspect. That’s one of the things I enjoy most overall,” said Harvey.
“I also like the competitive aspect. In field hockey, you have to communicate with your players and be talking all the time in order to succeed.”
Looking back over her field hockey years at MVU, it’s the most recent game against Lyndon that stands out.
“I was a mid-fielder since my eighth-grade year. When my coach wanted to put me on forward line, I wasn’t familiar with the position, and at first, I wasn’t happy there,” said Harvey.
“The Lyndon game really stands out because not only did I score, but my coach asked me if I was happy to be on the forward line, and I was.
“I’m so glad she pushed me to the new position, and she gave me a lot of confidence.”
Harvey is new to the forward line; Hurlbut is new to the Thunderbirds. The 2020 season is her first with the program.
“I’ve learned a lot from her (Mel Hurlbut). Our season was short, but she’s taught me a lot as a player--on and off the field,” said Harvey.
Harvey also played three years for coach Jeanne Rainville.
“Both my coaches have taught me so much.”
Harvey is playing her last year of high school field hockey, and she’s enjoying her teammates.
“I love my team this year. I’ve loved every team. This year, I feel like we’ve really connected in such a short period of time, and everyone respects each other,” said Harvey.
Like many athletes this year, Harvey wasn’t sure she’d get to play her final field hockey season.
“I was very grateful to be on the field; I didn’t think we’d have a season, and that was heartbreaking,” said Harvey.
“I had a rush of happiness to be out doing things again. I love sports, and I was so glad to be out playing the game I love.”
Harvey was especially glad to share the season with her mom, Shannon.
“My mom is my biggest supporter. She’s been at every sporting event I’ve ever had. I can always look at her, and she has the biggest smile on her face no matter how I do,” said Harvey.
“She does everything in her power to make sure we have fun and have a good time. She does what she can to help us enjoy the things we love!”
Harvey also thanked her sister, Sarah, who’s been a constant source of inspiration.
“My whole life, Sarah’s been one of my biggest competitors, in a good way. She’s been with me through thick and thin, especially in sports,” said Harvey.
“She was always there for me when we played together, and I feel like she’s pushed me to be the best I can be in and out of sports.
“Sarah’s one of the people I look at as a good role model. She’s helped develop my love for sports; at a very young age, I watched her, and I wanted to enjoy sports and be with her.
“Growing up with someone who shares the same love of sports that you do is amazing.”