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Sept. 18, 2013

Senior defender Lane Smith is a two-time member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad and part of a back line defense that came up with back-to-back shut outs last week at the Sheraton Catamount Invitational Tournament in Burlington, Vt.

The media studies major sat down with to talk field hockey and her plans for the future.

When did you first start playing field hockey?
I started playing field hockey for real in seventh grade. I did little summer camps where we would play basketball and softball, and field hockey was a part of that. I always enjoyed field hockey, so in seventh grade when we had a junior high team, I tried out and made it. Then I did Futures, which was really fun.”

What was it that first drew you to field hockey?
I think that the sport is really compelling for a lot of young women because it is not like the traditional sports you see in the United States where you are competing against male counterparts, like women’s and men’s basketball, baseball/softball. What I really liked about field hockey is that it was something that was distinctly feminine yet it showed an aggressive side. Obviously in seventh grade, though, that wasn’t what I thought. I was the best one on my team and always really enjoyed it because I was really good. Now it is something that is really a great passion. Whenever people ask me what sport I play in college and I answer `field hockey,’ they are really excited. If they have played it, they love the sport. It’s a great sport in a small community and great to be a part of.

When did you first start playing defense?
I always played defensively for the Futures national tournaments because, honestly, a lot of people didn’t want to play defense, so I would step up to the position. In high school, I played midfield, but it tends to be the case where the stronger players are in the midfield in high school. I really like defense because you helped build something. It wasn’t that you were just finishing the play, but you were building the play out of the backfield. I always really enjoyed that.

What are your strengths as a player?
I think that my strength on the field hockey field comes from my attitude and my ability to communicate. On and off the field, we are working on communication as a team right now. I realized that I am very strong off the field communicating with my teammates and being loud and cheerful and supportive. On the field, you have to do that for yourself as well, and I think that is something that a lot of people forget.

You are often on of the key players on a short corner, serving as the person on the goal line who starts the play. What is your main goal when doing that?
Every time I step up to inject the ball, I tell myself this one is going to be perfect. At this level and at this stage, every moment on every corner has to be perfect. It starts with the injection. When there is an injection that is off, it messes up the stick stopper and it messes up the hitter. It messes up the people running in to tip off. I really do try to hold myself accountable to the injection. I think a lot of times in games it is easier to inject than in practice when there isn’t the pressure and you have to get it spot-on every time.

You are a media studies major. What is it that you want to do with that after graduating?
I feel that most fourth-years go through this really anxious period at this point because they do see that the year ends rather quickly and you start to see where the rest of your life is going. I am trying to approach this year by giving myself options and pursuing every opportunity that I create or is presented to me. Right now, I have a thousand different ideas of where I could end up. The great thing about the media industry and what draws me to it so much is that there are so many different paths you can take. By doing one thing, you learn what you love and don’t love and it helps you to continue to pursue what you do love.

Was there one course that really made you decide this is what you want to do with your life?
When I was trying to decide what to major in, I took media studies 2100 with Siva Vaidhyanathan, which is a digital media class, I realized that was what I wanted to study. Even if it is not what my career is, I love learning about how technology influences today because I think it is a huge topic that everyone is trying to figure out. The beauty of it is that no one can figure it out because it is rapidly changing and evolving, so it makes it kind of exciting to be a part of it, as well as intimidating.

Tell us about your internship you had last summer.
I went to Los Angeles and interned for a production company, Gran Via Productions. They are a small boutique company that does television and film. The biggest current show they have is Breaking Bad, but they have several others that are really starting to blossom. They do movies as well. It was more pre-production and story development where they find scripts and say `this is a great idea, let’s work with this’ and then they shop it around to different bigger conglomerates. I personally answered phones and read over a lot of scripts, writing summaries and providing coverage.
When I was out there, I wrote a short film that was selected for production, so I was excited about that. As far as showing people the film, I haven’t really showed anyone because I am little embarrassed about it. It’s all a part of a learning process.

What is something you are really proud of?
There are a lot of things that I have done that I am proud of outside of UVa. I am proud of the work I have done with the Virginia Film Festival. It is an incredible office! They are the nicest, warmest group of people who have taught me so much about the industry. I think that is why I am drawn to film and love not only the art, but all that goes into it.

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