Boyd Vicars and the Virginia field hockey team conclude its five-game road trip with a 7 p.m. game at William & Mary Thursday before returning home to the U-Hall Turf Field for a noon matchup with Michigan State. Vicars, a redshirt sophomore, recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the season, finally playng at home again, rebounding from a severe car accident two summers ago and her career aspirations.
Question: How would you describe the season?
Vicars: So far, it's been fun and exciting. A lot of traveling, a lot of team bonding and a lot of preparing, but our team is building off of each win and getting closer because of it. We've been doing really well at 6-0, but I know we're capable of doing even better. We're not even close to reaching our full potential yet. We've got a lot more in us.
Question: What was it like to witness Coach Madison get her 250th career win?
Vicars: It was really special. To see Coach reach that milestone and be able to share it with everyone and all the parents even on the road, I was so proud of her and all that our team's accomplished since she's been here. Before that, I had never gotten the chance to dump water on a coach before, and I had always wanted to, so that was pretty cool. She tried to run away from us at first, but finally she gave in and let us drench her, and we all cheered and laughed. We all knew beforehand that she was going for her 250th career win that game, but we still played the game like any other and didn't let that distract us. But after the game, we were all happy to celebrate it, and we had a big cake for her.
Question: How has the season been for you personally in terms of you returning after a redshirt year?
Vicars: It's been awesome coming back and playing again. Every day at practice is fun and competitive for me. I have a new appreciation for everything and every person on our team now. Even things like warm up and setting objectives before the game I look forward to. I realize that playing is such an opportunity, and you can't take any of it for granted. I love being able to play with my teammates again, especially in the backfield, and being able to play with the second and first years for the first time.
Question: How would you describe your battle back from injury to get where you are?
Vicars: There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am and how fortunate I am to have had the friends and doctors I had last summer to get me back in shape. They turned a horrible accident into an incredible experience, and I couldn't have asked for better support. That summer, I thought I was done, no more field hockey, no more sports, but giving myself time to heal and following the rehab program made it possible for me to come back. There were days when it was really tough, but you get through them and remind yourself how unbelievably lucky you are to even be alive.
Question: What will it be like to play at home Sunday after spending the last five games on the road?
Vicars: I can't wait to play on our home turf again. It feels like it's been forever. After being on the road for so long, you realize how much you love your own locker room, your own field, your own fans. I think we'll definitely come out fired up and ready to go. It's my 21st birthday on Sunday as well, so it'll be really exciting.
Question: How did you get started playing field hockey?
Vicars: I started playing in gym class in middle school. My teacher was the head coach of our high school team and got me into playing. I thought it was kind of a weird sport at first because I was so used to playing soccer and basketball growing up, but I came to really like it and started getting more serious about it in high school with Futures and camps in the summer.
Question: What made you decide to come to UVa?
Vicars: It really wasn't a hard decision to make. I liked Coach Madison and Coach Kyser a lot, and I knew UVa was a great school academically. Michele came up and visited Deerfield during the winter of my senior year and watched me play, and later that month I went on my official visit and loved it. The idea of coming back south after being at prep school in New England for four years made it even more appealing, and I knew there wasn't a better opportunity anywhere else.
Question: What are you majoring in? What are your career aspirations?
Vicars: I'm a Spanish major, but I'm still not exactly sure what I want to do just yet. I'd love to work as a translator for a government agency, or maybe teach. I'm also interested in a career in TV and sports, possibly a broadcaster for ESPN. At this point, I'm just trying to enjoy college and learn as much as I can because there's a lot out there I want to do.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa thus far?
Vicars: My favorite class at UVa thus far has been EDLF315: Personal Growth and Child Development. I took it last spring, and I learned a lot about how kids develop and learn. I've found all of it to be extremely practical and relevant in my everyday life. I still go back to some of the information I read about in that class. I also really enjoyed my professors. The class got me interested in possibly teaching when I'm older.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Vicars: I pretty much like doing anything with friends. I love to play and watch other sports, especially college basketball, and when I have time, I like to go shopping. I also like watching the TV series, "Gossip Girl."