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Junior Mackenzie White excels on the defensive side of the field for the Indians’ field hockey and girls’ lacrosse teams. (Photo courtesy of Mackenzie White )
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Mackenzie White has been playing field hockey and lacrosse since her freshman year at North Haven High School. Mackenzie was encouraged by her friends to join each team and has grown to love both sports.
A junior, Mackenzie plays defense for North Haven’s field hockey and girls’ lacrosse squads. She and her teammates have jelled quite well along the back line, and that makes being a defender a fun experience for Mackenzie.
“I just like that the position suits me well. I’m very aggressive on the field, so defending is the best spot,” says Mackenzie. “My teammates and I communicate really well together. Having a friendship on and off the field definitely helps us work stronger together.”
Mackenzie didn’t always play defense in field hockey. Mackenzie started out as a midfielder, but feels happy to have found a home on the defensive end.
“Sometimes my freshman year, I played midfield and would hop around. I liked it, but [Head Coach Kim Bouffard] likes me on defense, because that’s where she feels I’m most comfortable,” Mackenzie says. “I know the position really well, and I really enjoy it, because some of my closest friends play the position, too. We work well together and have a close bond.”
Coach Bouffard says that Mackenzie brings tremendous energy to the field, and she appreciates that Mackenzie is such a coachable player. Bouffard likes working with athletes like Mackenzie, who are more than willing to put in as much work as it takes to sharpen their skills.
“Mackenzie has a positive attitude and a desire to continue to learn the game. She works hard every day to get better at her position,” Bouffard says. “Mackenzie is a pleasure to coach and has a great work ethic. She’s one of those girls who will do whatever she’s asked.”
Mackenzie takes it upon herself to try and improve her abilities as a field hockey player. Mackenzie routinely talks with her coaches about how to improve and accepts any constructive criticism that helps make her a better defender.
“In practice, I try very hard and ask my coach what I can do to improve,” says Mackenzie. “My teammates are always there to help me out and give me confidence. They always tell me what I can improve on.”
As member of the field hockey and lacrosse teams, Mackenzie plays a pair of stick sports for North Haven. While the two sports feature some similarities, Mackenzie likes how they each present their own series of unique challenges.
“They’re both the same, because you need good stick skills to move the ball around,” Mackenzie says. “But I like how they’re different. Field hockey is on the ground, and lacrosse is about cradling and keeping the ball on your stick.”
With one year of field hockey and two seasons of lacrosse still to come, Mackenzie wants to continue progressing, while helping her teams do the same. Mackenzie knows that her teammates are ready to put in the work right alongside her.
“A goal that I want myself and my team to accomplish is to keep working, staying in shape, and keeping our strong bond together. If we put it all out on the field, we’ll be successful next season,” says Mackenzie of the field hockey squad. “I think a main key is having that close bond with my teammates, because it helps with how you play on the field. Even though we didn’t have the record we wanted, I think we all worked really well together and improved from the beginning to the end of the season.”
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