A first team All-Central League and All-Main Line field hockey player, and the Rams’ Most Valuable Player for the third year in a row, the senior center midfielder and captain was a fine all-around performer this past fall, not only controlling the midfield but scoring four goals in just 11 games and dishing out several assists. Harriton field hockey head coach Jessika Hoh said, “Ashton has phenomenal field awareness – she knows when to play offensively vs defensively.” A versatile athlete, Odiorne is a three-year starter on the Harriton girls’ lacrosse squad. Next fall, Odiorne will play field hockey for the University of North Carolina.
Q: As the Rams’ MVP, how did you view your leadership role this season on and off the field, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: As a four-year MVP I have been keenly aware of my leadership role with my team. As an underclassman, I think my leadership role was more of setting examples with skills and strategy and commitment. The best feeling is knowing that you have had an impact on someone who isn’t as familiar with the game, but wants to learn more and play more. This year, my role was different. It was more about making the best of our abbreviated season, persevering and keeping a positive attitude to just get out there and play our best and enjoy it.
Q: What do you think was the biggest key to your productive offense this season?
A: As a midfielder, I don’t necessarily focus on scoring goals unless I have a clear shot; my role on the team is to stop the opponents drives down field and transition the ball from the defensive end to our offense, enabling our forwards to take shots on goal. I think the biggest key to a productive offense is ball control in the midfield.
Q: Coach Hoh talked about your phenomenal field awareness, knowing when to play offensively vs defensively. What do you think is the strongest aspect of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: My vision and field awareness are some of my strongest aspects of the game. Knowing where my teammates are so I can make strong accurate passes to them, as well as being able to anticipate where my opponent is placing the ball, gives our team an offensive and defensive advantage. Currently, I am working on shooting accuracy and long hits as I prepare for college field hockey.
Q: Tell us a little about your field hockey training since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What have you found to be the biggest challenge to your training during the pandemic, and how did you handle that?
A: The fluctuating restrictions have been the biggest challenge. But I have met them with positivity and flexibility. As an athlete, I am used to adapting to different challenges, and always try to improve for my team and myself. Outside of my school season, I typically train three nights a week with my club team, X-Calibur Field Hockey Club, both for indoor and outdoor hockey. However with the current restrictions we are on hiatus until January, so currently I am just conditioning and practicing my skills on the field at Harriton.
Q: Tell us a little about your start in field hockey. Have you always played center mid?
A: I started playing field hockey in first grade, and knew at a very young age that I wanted to play at the highest level in college, and perhaps even beyond college. Luckily, the best field hockey club programs are located here in Pennsylvania, so I have had the benefit of being coached by some of the best coaches in the country. I am actually a defender, but on the Harriton team, I was best utilized in the midfield, where I could contribute both offensively and defensively.
Q: Who have been your biggest field hockey mentors, and what was the most important thing you learned from each one?
A: I have had so many mentors, and all of them have had a profound impact on me. Lisa Kiziuk, my very first coach, taught me to play with passion and good sportsmanship. Brian Hope at X-Calibur made me realize that my goals were all achievable, and prepared me for my future at University of Carolina. Becky DuVernois has been my biggest advocate and supporter. Each has had such an impact on my life and field hockey career and I will always be grateful for them.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: I get a good night’s sleep and then fuel myself in order to have the most energy possible. Sometimes I try to meditate to organize my thoughts.
Q: What is your favorite course at Harriton? What do you think you might want to major in at the University of North Carolina? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?
A: My favorite course at Harriton has been AP United States History. I have enjoyed all of my history classes in high school and I plan to continue my studies in history at UNC, majoring in either Political Science or Public Policy, or perhaps a combination of both, hopefully with a future career in government policy.
Fun facts – Ashton Odiorne
Favorite book: No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.
Favorite TV show: Friends.
Favorite movie: Mamma Mia.
Favorite athlete: J.J. Watt.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Power by Kanye West.
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles.
Favorite place to visit: Burnsville, N.C.
Favorite pre-game meal: Pesto pasta with chicken.
Person I most admire, and why: “Nick Foles because he had such a positive mindset and as a backup quarterback stepped up and had such an amazing impact on the team.”
Family members: parents Peter and Liz, sisters Sydney, Bliss and Whitney.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)