Kayla Maret (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) finished her sophomore field hockey season with a vengeance, racking up four goals and three assists in last week’s three games. She rounded out this season with nine goals and tied for team highs with five assists and 23 points.
Kayla’s role on the team shifted this season. After a year of taking no shot attempts as a defender, Kayla’s coach, Ashley Kishorn, saw promise for her elsewhere on the field.
“She just came up one day and was ‘Kayla, you’re going to practice forward today.’ And I was like, ‘oh, okay.’” Kayla shrugged.
“Kayla (Fridge) came in and filled a defensive position for us last season; however, with her scoring potential we moved her up the field this year,” said Coach Kishorn (Stick). “She excelled on the forward line and made an immediate impact with her stats. You can visibly see Kayla’s determination and drive when she receives the ball on the field. It is clear that she wants to score and she wants to win games.”
“I knew I would be going from defense to midfield, which I kind of wanted to do because I felt like I could help better, getting the ball up the field, but I didn't know I was going to be a forward, because I’ve never played forward before,” Kayla explained. “It was kind of hard at first because I didn’t know what I was doing but...I think it got better as I got more experience and I’m happy where I am now. I could play anywhere now!”
This is Coach Kishorn’s second year at EMU. Kayla thought it was helpful for the team to have continuity and know their coach coming into the season.
“We won more games than last year,” Kayla said, reflecting on her team’s improvement this season. “We won our first conference game this year since 2016!”
Kayla first got into field hockey when she was in 8th grade. She appreciated her middle school coach for teaching her the game.
“She wasn’t one of those coaches that was just there for the paycheck, she actually cared,” Kayla said. “Like, she wanted to win so she actually coached us. So I learned a lot from her.”
Kayla joined a travel team when she got to high school.
“It keeps me going,” she said about the sport. “I feel like I'm good at something when I play field hockey, and I feel like I have a purpose and people need me.”
Field hockey was instrumental in Kayla’s decision to come to EMU. Now she is a (nearly official!) biology major looking to become a physician’s assistant after graduation. In her free time she likes visiting YouTube and thrift stores alike.
Besides being Royals Athlete of the Week, Kayla is also on the ODAC Honor Roll.
“So...my coach texted me and was like, ODAC honor roll AND you’re athlete of the week?” She smiled. “I was not expecting this at all this year. It made me really happy.”
And this young defender/midfielder/forward still has two years left at EMU. Watch out for Kayla Maret next fall!
--- by Elizabeth Nisly, EMU Sports Information Writing Intern