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Oct. 8, 2014

Sophomore midfielder Macy Peebles had an assist in the Cavaliers’ overtime victory over Rutgers. She has appeared in all of the Cavaliers’ games this season after playing in 16 contests her freshman year. The 2012 Virginia High School Player of the Year helped lead her Tabb High School squad to three state championships.

Macy sat down this week with about her high school career, her academic plans for the future, last week’s win at UNC followed by the loss to Ohio State as well as what the end of the season holds for her and her teammates.

What are you majoring in?
MP:I’m applying to the Batten School Public in February. It’s a school that specializes in public policy and leadership that’s fairly new. I believe it just graduated its first class this past May. Maddie [DeCerbo] is in it which is how I know about it. It’s a school that looks for a person who can focus in on a specific area like public health or government or policy and a person who knows his or her purpose. I’m in a class now called Politics in Developing Areas that I find really interesting and I’ve also been on a mission trip to Jamaica so I think it’s really interesting to see how others live and how their health systems are run. If it doesn’t work out, I think I’ll major in Foreign Affairs.

In high school, you were an athlete, a cheerleader, and an editor of your school newspaper. What is it like transitioning to college where you are now just a student-athlete?
MP:It’s pretty crazy, especially during season, and field hockey is all we have time to focus on. We’re at class, we go to practice, and then we’re in the library. That’s the part that’s been most different because in high school I like being involved in everything. I’m starting to get more comfortable managing field hockey and school, though.

What did you do during your summer break?
MP:I was at the High Performance field hockey program and also took a class here at UVA. I worked at Trinity as a waitress, too. After that, I brought [teammate] Emily Faught to our house in Ireland and went to Austria and Germany, too. That was a lot of fun. Other than that, I did a lot of relaxing at home with my family.

How did you balance preparing for the season while still enjoying your vacation?
MP:We tried finding as much time as we could to run, but it was hard because we were in the middle of the country in Ireland so there wasn’t really a track where we could work out. It was definitely harder being at home rather than being here because there’s usually a set program of working out at school. When you’re home, you don’t usually have your teammates to push you. Sometimes I’d get my friends who used to play field hockey to make sure I’m on top of my workouts.

What’s sort of athletic history do you have within your own family?
MP:One of grandfathers went to college in Ireland and played Gaelic football and hurdled, and my other grandfather went to school at UVA and played football and wrestled. A lot of people in my family went to school here and they all loved it. Luckily for me, I’m from Virginia so everyone looks at this as the best in-state school to go to. I feel really lucky to go here.

What about the rest of your family?
MP:My mom went to the US Naval Academy and was in the Navy for about 22 years until she retired and works at NASA now. My dad has a welding and fabrication company back home. I also have three older sisters.

When did you first start playing field hockey?
MP:I started playing field hockey in middle school. That was when I moved from Florida to Virginia and I had never even heard of field hockey. One of my sisters started playing and she was a goalie, so I decided to try it out. I wasn’t super into it until around my sophomore year of high school because I thought I wanted to go to college to play soccer. Once I quit soccer, I started getting into field hockey and our team had a lot of success, so that’s how that happened.

How hard was it for you to adjust from being a regular starter in high school to being a key situational player on the team now?
MP:It wasn’t too hard. I played center-midfield in high school, so I was more of a play-maker than anything else. I would try to get the ball from defense to offense, and that’s similar to what I do now. I get to rotate in with people like Jessie [Orret] and Kelsey [LeBlanc] who are awesome players. Even though I wasn’t starting, I still felt like I was helping the team out and that’s a really big thing for me. I feel like the dynamic of the team this year is teamwork and all about doing whatever you can to help the team.

Personally, what do you feel you bring to the team when you’re on the field?
MP:I’m a really positive person, which could be from my cheerleading. I’m good at communicating with my teammates and being constructive and positive if anybody messes up. Whenever I go in, I always know that Jessie or Kelsey will get me when I get tired. I just give it everything I have, take my rest, and go back in.

What did it feel like to get a big win last week over UNC, and how do you bounce back from the loss on Sunday?
MP:The win felt awesome. Nobody on the team had ever beaten UNC before, and they are always viewed as our biggest competition. Being on the road, it’s always tough but we stayed calm and positive the whole game and we knew we could do it. Even though we weren’t fully healthy, we came together and gave a great team effort. On Sunday, I think we were a little drained and took a tough loss. We’ve had a great week of practice and are focused and looking ahead to our next game against Richmond.

How nice is it to be home for the next few games after Friday’s quick trip to Richmond?
MP:It’s definitely nice. We’re just ready to end the season strong on a good note and then getting ready for the postseason.

How is the team going to make sure this postseason is successful?
MP:I think the dynamic of the team this year is so much different. Last year, we had a lot of seniors leading us, but now we’re a lot younger and have a lot more underclassmen all over the field. We’re learning from each game and are getting to be a better team after every practice, workout, or game. We’re focused on the next game and not looking too far in advance. Not to say we overlooked things last year, but we may have been looking too much at the big picture instead of looking at the next obstacle and challenge ahead of us.

What’s your favorite off-field memory you have with this team?
MP:In the locker room before games, we have a tradition of having a dance party to get ready for the game. Everybody is having fun and not stressing so I really enjoy those. Taylor [Brown] and Emilia [Tapsall] always do this weird `mime’ dance that’s just the funniest thing. But I’d have to say Jenny [Johnstone] is the worst dancer on the team, even though no one is particularly good at it. We all have fun, but we aren’t really good.

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