Lamb’s Skills Make Her a Dynamic Field Hockey Player

KEN HAMWEY, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
October, 2019
Article Body: 

It doesn’t take rocket science to understand why Brooklyn Lamb is such a dynamic field-hockey player.
Natick High’s senior midfielder is a four-year veteran who’s played at the club level for five seasons. She’s been a Bay State Conference all star for three years and last season she was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Carey Division. The 17-year-old has played a key role in helping the Redhawks qualify for tourney play three straight years. An honor-roll student, she’s also a captain who’s earned a partial scholarship to play at Boston University.
Seven other colleges showed interest in the 5-foot-6 native of Hamden, Conn., four of whom were Colgate, the University of Vermont, St. Joseph’s (Pa.) and Quinnipiac. Her field sense, skills, athleticism, speed and endurance are her primary strengths.
“Brooklyn is a coach’s dream,’’ said Ann Burnes, the Redhawks’ coach. “She’s a rare player who comes along once in a blue moon and makes everyone around her better. Her technical skills are unparalleled and her experience playing at the club level has contributed to her success.’’
Lamb’s style is flexible — she can be aggressive or deliberate. “What I like about field hockey is its fast pace,’’ she said. “It’s also requires learning a variety of skills and it’s a team-oriented sport. I enjoy playing midfield because there’s involvement in so many situations. A midfielder also has to be quick in transition.’’
Lamb is also a strategic player, always looking to complete a pin-point pass. A defensive player, she doesn’t fill up a stat sheet but she’s always around the ball. Last year, she had 7 goals and 3 assists. And, one of her assists came against Andover in the Sectional semifinals where Natick lost, 2-1, in overtime.
“It was great to go deep in the tourney,’’ Lamb said. “Being named an MVP in the division was humbling but facing Andover in the semifinals was a thrill. We showed we had talent and the team’s energy level was high. I was fortunate to get the assist on our goal.’’
The Andover contest, which is believed to be Natick’s deepest advance in playoff field hockey, may have been Lamb’s top thrill. But, another tourney matchup (a 1-0 double overtime loss against Belmont) rates as Lamb’s best game. “I was a sophomore but I competed in aggressive fashion,’’ she recalled. “I realized that I could be successful and effective if my approach was highly competitive on the field. The loss was disappointing but I grew after that game.’’
As her final season at Natick unfolds, Lamb has some specific team goals. She wants to get to the tourney and advance as far as possible. She also wants to win the Carey Division title but she’s acutely aware that to achieve both objectives it’ll take daily improvement and lots of energy. The Redhawks are experienced — nine of 11 starters are back from last year — and they’ve got good team chemistry. Natick had a 1-2 record at Local Town Pages deadline and Lamb had 2 goals and 1 assist.
“My personal goals are to sharpen my overall game as I prepare for my BU career,’’ Lamb noted. “I’d also like to be an effective and supportive captain and also earn all-star honors for the fourth time.’’
Lamb has high praise for Natick’s other captains — seniors Victoria Norchi (center forward) and Erin Quirk (center back). “All of us were on the team as freshmen,’’ she said. “We work well together and we try to lead by example and by being supportive.’’
“Although she’s one of the most skilled players on our team, Brooklyn is humble, approachable and kind,’’ Burnes stressed. “She leads by example, in effort and attention to detail. As a center middie, we appreciate her understanding of the game and her vision to help lead our players.’’
Lamb is quick to give her coach high marks for changing and improving the field-hockey program. “Coach Burnes works hard and is a tremendous motivator,’’ Lamb emphasized.’’
Lamb agreed to accept a partial scholarship to BU last fall. The Terriers contacted her club coach (Chelsey Feole), then spoke with Lamb, extending an invitation for a campus visit. Lamb likely will sign a letter of intent before the year ends.
“Sally Starr is BU’s head coach and she emphasized that hard work will lead to playing time,’’ Lamb said. “My objective as a freshman will be to build strength, focus on fitness and be devoted in practice. The transition to college field hockey will involve competing in a faster-paced game and facing more skilled players.’’
Lamb’s blood lines should be a plus in helping her to enjoy a smooth transition. Her mom (Ainslee) was the head field hockey coach at Boston College for 10 years and her dad (Joel) is in his 10th year as an assistant football coach at Harvard. And, her grandfather is Tom Lamb, Natick High’s ultra successful football coach and athletic director.
“My grandfather was my first coach,’’ Lamb said. “He coached me in softball when I was in elementary school and he helped me to learn valuable lessons from athletics.’’
Lamb’s competitive philosophy should help her this season and in college. She’s focusing on reaching her potential and enjoying her athletic experiences. “If those two things occur, then winning will follow,’’ she said. “And, two life lessons I’ve learned are resiliency and mental toughness. Being mentally tough helps to achieve success.’’
Lamb knows what’s needed to be a dominant athlete. And, her coach knows what it’ll take for her to earn a roster spot in college.
“Brooklyn has always had great stick skills but needed some time to develop her strength and confidence,’’ Burnes noted. “She played some as a freshmen, and as a sophomore, she was a consistent starter. At BU, her work ethic and determination will play a role in her earning a spot on their team.’’