Arundel senior Lindsey Schiesz had a choice to make going into her freshman year.
Basketball, which she has played since she was 5, was a given in the winter, but she was looking for a fall sport to help her get ready.
Volleyball or field hockey?
That summer, she went to a field hockey clinic at Severna Park and her decision was made.
"A lot of my friends were there, and they were planning to try out. We get along so well, and that's what makes the team flow," said Schiesz. "That's what brought me to field hockey, and now I love the sport."
The four-year path Schiesz has taken in becoming the Wildcats' leading scorer this season (10 goals, four assists) is interesting.
As a freshman, she started out as a goalie, moved to sweeper on the JV as a sophomore, and kept moving up the field from there.
Her first varsity action came last season, when she scored five goals at midfield before a broken foot sidelined her after five games.
This season, the 5-foot-9 Schiesz, a forward on the Wildcats state runner-up basketball team, has found a home in front of the cage.
Finding a knack for scoring didn't take long for Schiesz.
"When I scored my first one [against Chesapeake as a junior], I wanted to keep going. I didn't want to go back to defense," she said. "It's all about determination and how much you want it. You have to go for every ball in the circle, keep pushing and pushing, until you get it through."
That's Schiesz's specialty. Most of her goals come from hard work in front -- rebounds, deflections or whatever else it takes to hear the bang the ball makes when hitting the back of the cage.
"In warm-ups, there's no pressure to get off a good shot," said Arundel coach Clint Gosnell. "Game pressure is different, and you don't know how the kids will handle it.
"Last season, Lindsey scored a goal in almost every game before her broken foot, so I knew she could score. Then she wanted to play attack this season. She has good size, and when she makes contact, it's going to go."
The Wildcats, with 10 seniors a veteran team, finished their regular season with a 10-3-1 mark. They closed it out with a tough 1-0 loss to mighty Severna Park on Tuesday but will get another chance against the No. 2-ranked Falcons in the county championship game tonight. Game time at Severna Park is 7 p.m.
Schiesz is looking forward to another opportunity to upset the county's perennial powerhouse.
"We had our chances to score [on Tuesday], and our defense played extremely well," she said. "We learned a lot about them. They definitely keep the field spread out and work the ball well out of the defensive end, up the sidelines. We have to run onto the ball better and connect our passes."
After graduating, Schiesz, the class president who carries a 3.1 grade-point average, plans to pursue a college major in psychology.
"I'm interested in what people say and why they say it," she says.
First things first, though, starting with a strong finish in field hockey.
"Most of us have been playing together since our freshman and sophomore years, so we've grown together," she said. "We have some fun seniors and some serious seniors, a variety of personalities, which helps the team come together. I'm somewhere in between -- serious sometimes but goofy most of (( the time."
JTC Serious or goofy, Schiesz is always drawing a crowd. Opposing defenses have to take special note of her work in the middle, which leaves room for teammates. The Wildcats have three other players with at least six points on the season.
"If you give Lindsey time, she'll score, so teams have to spend time with her in the middle," said Gosnell. "That helps the others, and it helps her that she's surrounded by good players."
Pub Date: 10/22/98