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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 4, 2010

Meyers: A great example of perseverance in sports

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Beth Meyers lets her actions speak for her. She fell in love with field hockey because she refused to quit.

Currently a senior at Guilderland, Meyers was the starting goalie for the Lady Dutch field-hockey team over the last three seasons. She was twice a first-team all-star and she was once recognized on the All-State Team. She also played in the 2008 Empire State Games in Binghamton for the Adirondack team.

However, Meyers wouldn’t have reached all those goals without relentless perseverance. As a freshman, she almost quit the sport during tryouts for the junior- varsity team.

“Beth was surprised with all the running on the first day of tryouts and she paid for it for days to come,” said varsity Head Coach Kelly Vrooman. “Every day, she wanted to quit, but something kept her going.”

“I was frustrated with all the running because I don’t like to run,” said Meyers. “Vrooman pushed me so hard, but I owe so much to her. I’m not a quitter so I stuck with it. I’m glad because I ended up falling in love with the sport.”

Meyers started as a softball catcher and devoted much time to softball (She still plays.) But, upon entering high school in the fall of 2006, she was looking to try a new sport. Meyers went to a meeting and grabbed information on swimming, volleyball, and field hockey.

“I didn’t have a clue when it came to field hockey, but I knew the team held practice,” Meyers said. “I ended up quitting swimming and I realized I wasn’t any good at volleyball. That left field hockey as my fate.”

The goalie at the time for the junior-varsity team decided not to come out in 2006, so the position was there for Meyers to take. However, she had to earn respect and her position on the team. “Kick after kick, and bruise after bruise, she perserved,” Vrooman said.

“I thought being a goalie for field hockey would be similar to being a catcher in softball, but there was no comparison,” said Meyers. “I threw myself into a game I didn’t know and no one ever really explained it to me.”

Meyers told The Enterprise that her knowledge of field hockey came with the experiences she had in goal. “I watched different coaching styles and I could see everything from where I was playing,” she said. “The only way to really know the game is to play it.”

Big bounce

Meyers did, in fact, get the starting position on the junior-varsity team as a freshman, but she said that the first year was “terrible.” The challenge was great and she needed more training.

Everything changed for Meyers when the Lady Dutch traveled to Niskayuna for a game under the lights. The varsity goalie was ineligible to play, so Meyers had to step in as the back-up.

Meyers held Nisky scoreless through 60 minutes of regulation play and two sudden- death overtimes. Guilderland lost the game in penalty strokes, but Meyers knew that field hockey was truly for her after a performance like that as a freshman.

“That game was a true turning point for her and it sold her to the sport,” said Vrooman. “I believe that it sealed her fate.”

Almost four years and many games later, Meyers thinks that the one against Nisky that night was one of the best she has ever played. “I’ve had some really great games over the years, but there was a lot of firsts in that one,” she said. “I had a totally different attitude after that and I became more confident.”

Meyers plays on the Adirondack club team all year ’round and went to California for a Winter Festival last November. The festival featured players of all ages from across the country and her team tied four games and won two. “It was nice to get away and bond with the team,” Meyers said.

Playing on the Adirondack team is different than playing with Guilderland because the level of dedication is higher than with the Lady Dutch. The time spent with Adirondack gives Meyers chance to hone her skills for college competition next fall.

“I get to play with girls that are just as committed as I am,” Meyers said of the club team. “I enjoyed my time at Guilderland, but some of my teammates weren’t as into it. They would play in the fall and that’s it.”

“She is pretty much the only athlete at Guilderland that is completely committed to field hockey,” said Vrooman. “I’ll miss her compassion.”

Meyers has excelled in net, but also in the classroom. She’s maintained an average of 90 or above over the last four years. Playing field hockey in college will be a harder commitment, but academics always come first, for her.

“I’d like to become a teacher, but I can’t stand kids who don’t show an effort,” Meyers said. “It’s not hard to try in life. It’s simple.”

“She’s very persistent and that will help her in the future,” Vrooman said. “She never gives up on anything.”

 Meyers said that she isn’t a particularly an inspiring person. She let’s her aggressive goalkeeping do the talking.

“If I were to be inspiring,” said Meyers. “Then it would be with my actions on the field.”

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