Friends’ Central goalie Maddie Henry is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

The senior goalie has one of the best save percentages (.905) among Southeastern Pennsylvania high school field hockey netminders, and has averaged 22 saves per game this fall. Friends’ Central field hockey head coach Jody Mayer says of the Cornell-bound senior, “She is extremely dedicated to her sport and her team. She’s physical in the circle and acrobatic in the air, never afraid to leave her feet to make diving save.  She is constantly positive and outspoken, always celebrating her teammates successes, no matter how small.  Having Maddie on my team is like having another assistant coach.”

Q: Your coach mentions that you were moved to be a goalie because you were good with your feet. How important is footwork to a goalie?

A: I think footwork is one of the most important aspects of goalkeeping. If you have fast footwork you have a much better chance at making saves. My goalkeeper coach, Ali Harris, always makes us do footwork drills before we start playing.

Q: Is there one save that you made this season that stands out in your memory? Can you describe how the play unfolded, and your role in it?

A: One save that stands out for me this season was in our game against our rival Germantown Friends’ School. We were tied 2-2 and had to go into overtime. About five minutes into overtime, my center defender got beat by the GFS captain in a 1v1 leaving a clear path to the goal. She did a pull and I was able to dive on my left side and take the ball from her. Then her teammate got the the rebound and shot it in the air which I stopped. Several minutes later our team scored on a corner and we won the game.

Q: As a goalie, how do you view your role as a team leader? Can you give us an example of how you have exercised that leadership this season?

A: Communication is a huge part of the sport of field hockey and as a goalie I can often see things that my defenders cannot. This is a way in which I am a leader on my team. The defense must work as a cohesive unit.  Our center back Elise Foster and I were able to teach our young inexperienced defenders the importance of communication and to work as a unit.

Q: You used to play soccer in the fall. What sparked your initial interest on field hockey? Why did you change over from soccer?

A: By sophomore year it was obvious I was not going to be the next Mia Hamm. Some of my best friends played field hockey and told me they were in desperate need of a goalie. So I hung up my JV soccer jersey and decided to become a field hockey goalie. Our head coach Jody Mayer welcomed me to the team and introduced me to the sport of field hockey.

Q: What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game as a goalie? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?

A: One of the strongest aspects of my game is 1v1s. This involves extensive footwork and body control.  Something I am currently working on is my left side clears.

Q: You will be playing field hockey for Cornell next fall. What attracted you to Cornell? What other schools were in the running? What do you think you might like to major in at Cornell? Is there a career path that particularly interests you at the present time?

A: I wanted to go to a school with great academics and great hockey. After visiting Ithaca, meeting Coach Hornibrook and the team I knew that Cornell was my top choice. I want to go to medical school and hope to become a surgeon some day.

Q: What other extracurricular activities do you participate in at Friends’ Central, and what sparked your interest in each of these activities?

A: One of my extracurricular activities is  the World Press which focuses on political and international issues. I was drawn to this because of my interest in current events and international relations.  I also play varsity softball.

Maddie Henry’s top picks

Book: Harry Potter.

Author: Jane Austen.

TV show: Grey’s Anatomy.

Movie: Love Actually.

Pre-game pump-up song: Upgrade U, by Beyonce.

Athlete: Ronda Rousey, Hope Solo.

Team: Everton Football Club.

Place to visit: Florence, Italy.

Historical figure: “Jane Addams, who I was assigned to write a paper on during my freshman year. She was a pioneer in social service and fought for the needs of children and women’s suffrage.”

(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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