Since her freshman year, Shenae Lundberg ’11 has established herself as an accomplished goaltender on the ice.
Now, behind the same distinctive green, white, and gold facemask that serves her on the ice, Lundberg looks out at an unfamiliar scene-the field hockey turf.
Last year, Lundberg was approached by field hockey coach Kimberly Wright and asked if she would be interested in bringing her goaltending talents to the girls’ varsity field hockey team.
“I just wanted to contribute to Deerfield where I could,” said Lundberg. And with her decision to join the team, she has done just that.
In the opening four games of the season, Lundberg has only relinquished five goals, supported the team to a 2-2 record, and made history in the process.
In a 2-0 loss to Hotchkiss and only her third game as a field hockey goalie, Lundberg tied a Deerfield record with a 21-save performance.
Although her strong performances so far may suggest otherwise, Lundberg is still adjusting to the new sport.
“The only real similarity between ice hockey and field hockey,” Lundberg joked, “is the word ‘hockey.’ “
A fundamental difference that Lundberg admits to have initially struggled with is the fact that field hockey goalies can’t drop to the ground and slide-an integral part of the ice hockey goalie’s arsenal.
Dr. Wright said, “Adjusting to the difference in pads and kickers instead of skates was a bit challenging.”
Despite these differences, Lundberg has managed to generate plenty of success from a few sources.
“I feel that I’ve been able to figure out my angles well and get good positioning on shooters,” she explained.
Dr. Wright believes Lundberg’s athletic experience has been beneficial.
“In elite level hockey, especially internationally, the best athletes play goalkeeper. Shenae’s innate athleticism and uncanny timing have played a major part in her success so far,” explained Dr. Wright.
Lundberg feels that the team has played a crucial role in her adjustment.
“The team has been really supportive so far,” said Lundberg. “Both the players and the coaches have been great in giving me tips and being patient as I learn the rules.”
Lundberg has been essential to the spirit of the team.
Dr. Wright said, “Shenae is a wonderful team player who competes every day in every drill to make herself and her teammates stronger.”
From her athletic ability to her hard work, Lundberg has been able to contribute significantly to a completely new sport in just a short amount of time.
“I only wish,” reflected Dr. Wright, “I had the opportunity to have her on my team for more than just one season.”