Playle plays to potential as Lasers seek GNAC title
Graduate student Abbey Playle has made an immediate impact on this year's field hockey squad, notching two Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Week titles and becoming the first Laser to score a hat trick in their field hockey debut. The midfielder currently has 29 points on the season, tying her with teammate Lily Stark for most in the GNAC.
Playle’s route to playing at Lasell is definitely unique, as she is only a first-year Laser as a graduate student. Playle was born in Reading, England, and moved to California at the age of seven. She spent the first two years of her undergraduate studies at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina and graduated from Manhattanville College in New York. Playle said she came to Lasell in search of a competitive program and a positive environment.
“I didn't have the greatest experience with my previous programs and I wanted to make sure that my last year of field hockey was enjoyable. So I was really prioritizing finding an environment that was positive and somewhere that I could see myself enjoying school again” said Playle.
Halfway through the season, Playle believes this team has been just that.
“It's been a lot more fun with this team because they are so hard-working. Usually, my biggest frustration is not being on a competitive team where I feel like I'm the only one pushing. With this team, everyone has fun all together while competing, which has made a big difference” said Playle.
While Playle remains motivated to compete because of her teammates, she has also been a driving force for the rest of the team’s play. Playle’s teammate and “little”, sophomore midfielder Jackie Scopa, attests to the impact Playle has had on the team environment.
“Abbey has a level of grit unlike anyone else, and a repeated compliment from Coach is how quickly she is able to recover from any mistakes. As her teammate, I love seeing how much her adrenaline pumps when she scores and how genuinely excited she gets when the team is succeeding. Overall Abbey has pushed the entire team to step up their gameplay, and continues to do that every step of the way” said Scopa.
Playle’s goal, both individually and for the team, is to bring home a GNAC title. As the team continues to cruise through the season undefeated, Playle claims the team’s energy is palpable, which has made her experience that much more rewarding.
“It's like a buzz, and every single game we are really ready to go. I played on a team where we only won one game and the vibes going into a game are so much different. It's an entirely different feeling and it's just fun to be around,” said Playle, “It's exciting, just knowing that we have the talent to win a title. It definitely is working as motivation as well. Some teams that have been good for a while get complacent, but we’re trying really hard to keep the energy high and not let that happen for us.”
Although Playle will only get one season representing the Lasers, she hopes her impact on the team is an inspiration to her teammates below her.
“I had to come in and kind of push the limits a little bit. I wanted to excel and to prove to everyone that you can come in on a new team and make an impact, and hopefully just inspire like the younger players. I tell them all the time, my first year of playing I didn't start, I didn't play. So I want them all to come in and recognize that you can shift your position if you put in the work and you put in the effort,” said Playle.