Leading scorer Maddie Secco enjoyed an award-winning senior year with Stanford University’s women’s field hockey team.
The former Oak Bay High athlete is in her senior year at the Palo Alto university, on a full scholarship playing field hockey.
The coach named a “leadership team” which consisted of all of the senior players, including Secco.
During the America East Conference awards banquet Nov. 4 she was named America East Conference Offensive Player of The Year and to the America East All-Conference First Team.
“To be named Offensive Player of the Year and to the America East All-Conference First Team was a huge honour. I was totally surprised, but also extremely excited to be recognized,” she said.
Secco, studying human biology at Stanford, was awarded her fourth career all-conference selection after being named NorPac All-West her freshman year and first team All-NorPac in 2013 and 2014.
In 2015, she led the Cardinal in goals (6), assists (11) and points (23).
“As a senior, this is my final year. Because I took time off of school, during my junior year, to train with the national team, I need to extend my education into a fifth year,” she said. “So, my plan is to return to Stanford next fall and complete my undergrad. Once I have graduated, I am hoping to continue playing with the Canadian National Team in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. That is my ultimate dream.”
Her senior season “started off with a bang” as they took the No. 1-ranked Syracuse team into overtime for the season opener.
“Unfortunately, we lost 2-1, but it was still an excellent result,” she said.
“Two days later, we won in overtime against No. 5 Duke. Quite the opening weekend. I definitely think that these two games were my highlights of the season, as I was fortunate enough to score in both of them. As well, the level of competition was amazing and it was on home turf, with my family watching, so it felt really special.”
After those first two games, the Cardinal team faced tough competitors and came up with a few good wins. In the last few weeks, they’ve endured losses, but are still ranked in the top 12 in the country.
Earlier this month, the team competed in the Conference Championships and were upset by Maine in the semi-finals.
“Normally, it’s only the winner of the Conference – in this case Albany ended up taking the crown – that qualifies for the final Sweet 16 Tournament but (Nov. 8) we were granted a wild card bid into the NCAA playoffs, because of our good results throughout the season.”
The team bowed out of playoffs on Saturday (Nov. 14) in a hard-fought 1-0 overtime decision to Duke in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.