Q&A with Field Hockey's Emily Faught
Oct. 23, 2014
Over the course of the last two seasons, sophomore back Emily Faught has been playing her way into more and more playing time. In her second season with the team, she has appeared in 16 games with five starts and has recorded a pair of defensive saves.
Emily sat down with VirginiaSports.com before heading to Boston to talk about a variety of topics including her love of travel, her history of winning championships, her view from the field as the UNC game came to a close and her thoughts on what needs to happen this weekend in Massachusetts.
When did you first start playing field hockey?
EF: I started playing field hockey in fifth grade when I moved from Atlanta, Ga., to Pennsylvania. It was the first time I had ever heard of the sport. My teacher knew that I was athletic and that I liked soccer and basketball, so she made me come out for it. I tried it and I just fell in love with it.
You grew up in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Tell us about your hometown.
EF: It’s about thirty minutes from Philadelphia, really close to Villanova. And it’s great. I went to an all-girls high school and played on a club team, WC Eagles, which a lot of us [current Cavaliers] were on, so I got to know a lot of the girls who ended up coming here. We had a good relationship with one another and we all grew up learning how to play in a similar way. We were really good and we won lots of indoor and outdoor national championships. I created some of my best friends there because we went through so many things together.
Winning championships with the Eagles was a big deal to me, but we weren’t allowed to show a lot of emotion. Our coaches were really intense and taught us to take things with grace and in stride. Every time we won, we weren’t allowed to show how excited we were, but off the court, we couldn’t believe it. We were playing in older divisions and still ended up winning. I was 13 years old, playing in the Under-14 division when we won our first national championship, which was so cool. We all got medals, so I have a few of those at home, and we were all very excited. It was an amazing experience.
You have experienced big wins with Virginia and being reserved isn’t something you have to do here. What was a particularly emotional moment for you with the Cavaliers?
EF: The best one, by far, was UNC. I was on the field for that one at the end of the game. [The Tar Heels] had just pulled their goalie, so we had four or five defenders on in the back. When the clock was counting down and there was 15 seconds left on the clock, [senior back] Maddie [DeCerbo] and I were looking at each other saying `Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! We did it! We did it!’ We immediately turned and ran to [senior goalkeeper] Jenny [Johnstone] after the clock hit zero and gave her a huge hug. And then everyone came in. It was pretty cool.
You played a lot last season, but this year you have seen an even more significant amount of time on the field. What has been the biggest difference between the two seasons for you as a player?
EF: I guess I have had to step up a lot more since Carissa [Vittese `13] has been gone. We lost our big voice in the back. We have Jenny, but we need a voice on that next line, so I have been trying to talk louder and speak more. And to be positive in the back. I try to get everyone pumped up and make sure that we have the least amount of goals scored on us as possible.
What was it like last season as a first-year to have to go out there right away and perform at a high level?
EF: It was very nerve-racking. The team was great and really supportive and encouraging. Every time I went on, they told me that they knew I could do it. That really helped to give me confidence. The coaches really helped out a lot, too.
Was there one particular thing that you focused on last spring and over the summer to get better at coming into this season?
EF: Being a stronger defender by being able to use my body and my stick skills to get the ball out and to mark-up on opponents. Definitely to speak more and to position people where they need to be.
What are you and the team going to need to do this weekend to defeat BC and BU?
EF: This year flew by so much quicker than last season. I hope that we end with a strong, positive note and that we beat BC on Friday so that we can win the ACC regular-season and go on to have a strong post-season. This week, we had really good practices. I think that we need to go out onto the field on Friday and just want it, want it more than the other team. We need to show through intensity and through teamwork that we are the better team. This year, we are all team players and we all play for each other. We need to keep that in mind while we are out on the field. If we do that against BC, we will definitely have a good result.
You have done some world traveling. Where have you gone?
EF: Yes. Last summer, I went with [sophomore] Macy [Peebles] to Ireland. It was one of the most amazing experiences. We stayed at her [extended] family’s farm in Ireland, so it was really interesting to see the everyday life of how people work on a farm. There were all of these sheep and haystacks and I rode horses for the first time, which was kind of scary, and I probably looked terrible, but it was pretty cool. I had a really good time.
The summer of my junior year of high school, we traveled to China with the Eagles. That was a totally different experience than anything I ever imagined. We went deep into China where there weren’t a lot of Americanized things there. We were some of the first American people they had seen, so a blond-haired, blue-eyed, tall, big-girl coming there was crazy for them. My picture was always being taken. Babies were taking pictures with me. It was kind of crazy. The people we met there were really sweet and really nice. Playing there was unbelievable, because we played against their national team. They are so intense. They all had the same haircuts. They all run at the same time in the same formation. We ended up coming in second in the tournament and only lost to the national team by one, so that was really exciting.
I love to see different parts of the world, especially field hockey-wise, because you get a totally different perspective playing there. I know I am going to go see [current teammates] Lucy [Hyams] and Jess [Orrett] over in England some time and hopefully play with them over there. This summer, I am hoping to go to Spain with Study Abroad, and hopefully I will get in some field hockey over there, too, so that would be pretty cool.
What are you going to major in?
EF: I think it is going to be English, but I am still trying to decide.