By Emily Bary ’14
Co-Editor in Chief
Chesley Hooker ’16 didn’t see a lot of playing time in her first season on the Wellesley lacrosse squad, but she’s making up for it this year. After tallying two goals in each of the Blue’s last two games, Hooker has become one of the leading scorers on the team.
She grew up in Texas, where lacrosse isn’t a very popular sport and where most public high schools don’t offer lacrosse teams. But Hooker made her way onto a club squad and found out about Wellesley’s program when Julia McPhee, the lacrosse coach, contacted her.
Before heading off to the athletic training office to receive treatment for a sore calf, Hooker caught up with me about her season so far and her goals for the rest of the year. Excerpts of the conversation follow.
Emily Bary (E.B.): When and why did you start playing lacrosse?
Chesley Hooker (C.H.): I started playing lacrosse in fifth grade, and I picked it up because I wasn’t good at anything else. I was actually on a soccer team when I was younger and all the players were mean. I saw some signs on the side of road for lacrosse and told my mom I wanted to do that.
E.B.: Why’d you decide to play at Wellesley?
C.H.: I wanted to go to a really good school and I knew Wellesley was strong academically. I was recruited by coach McPhee, thankfully, or else I wouldn’t have known Wellesley existed.
E.B.: What’s a typical practice like for you?
C.H.: We do a lot of drills. We don’t have very many people this semester, this year, so we’re pretty short staffed. We can’t play seven versus seven. We do a lot of five versus five.
E.B.: What’s been the best part about playing at Wellesley?
C.H.: The friends. I love my teammates.
E.B.: What’s been your best moment?
C.H.: That’s a hard one to answer. The Endicott game was pretty good. Everyone fought hard and gave it their best. I didn’t have much playing time last semester so the Endicott game was a highlight for me because I thought I played well.
E.B.: What’s been the hardest part about playing a college sport?
C.H.: The commitment. The time commitment is similar to high school but we do a lot of stuff off the field, too. Also, playing lacrosse in the northeast is a lot more rough than playing it in the south. You can’t make very much contact in the south or they’ll call it immediately, but up here they’ll let a lot go. So adjusting to that was difficult.
E.B.: How do you think the season’s going so far?
C.H.: We had two losses in our first two games, but we’re definitely making strides in the right direction. We played Endicott last year as well and lost by a lot more than we did this year. And we definitely saw a huge improvement from our first game to our second game this year.
E.B.: What are your goals for the season?
C.H.: I’d like to be able to contribute, just in general, a lot more than I did last year. I think that if we all work together, we can make things happen this year. I’m on offense usually, so I’d like to put more points on the board and get a lot more points on the board.
E.B.: Have you always played on offense?
C.H.: Sometimes in high school I’d play midfield and I’d take the draw every once in a while, but I’m not very fast so I’m pretty much an offender.
E.B.: How do you avoid injuries?
C.H.: Apparently I don’t! I just try to stretch out as well as I can before games. We do a dynamic warm-up that I don’t like very much so I try to do stretches on my own.
Hooker notched two goals in Wellesley’s first win of the season on Saturday, March 8 and should continue to be a strong force on offense for the remainder of the season. Wellesley next suits up today, Wednesday, March 12, for a 4 p.m. home contest against Plymouth State.