Field hockey is one tough game.
Just ask Malvern’s Stephanie Hyde. She has an inch-long battle scar to prove it.
Back in the fall, the Black Knights senior took a walloping right off the starting pass, getting the ball square in the forehead.
“It was swollen for quite a few weeks,” she said. “But it kind of connected me to the sport more.
“After, people were like, ‘Why would you still keep playing?’ and I’m like, ‘It’s so much fun’.”
Shrugging off the injury as a case of risky play, Hyde admitted it’s a hazard of her chosen sport.
“When the whistle goes and the other team gets the ball you can stand five metres away from it and basically they can start right away with it and a girl took a drive,” Hyde said. “It’s a dangerous ball because you can’t hit it that high but she drove and it hit me in the forehead.”
She’s been playing the game since grade 9 for Malvern, where she was introduced to it, and carried on with the Toronto Field Hockey Club, playing for both the women’s and junior girls teams.
When she wasn’t on the turf, she took to the mound to pitch for the Black Knights softball team and also captained the hockey team to a 5-1-1 record.
This year, Hyde recalled, was one of the most memorable for the girls ice hockey team.
“The dressing room was a lot different when I was a junior – there were two grade 9s and two grade 10s on the team and everybody else was a senior,” the grade 12 said. “This year it was completely different. There were only two grade 12s on the team. There was a much better dynamic in the dressing room. We had a lot more fun and we all knew each other well.”
Through all the bumps and bruises of her sporting career — one she says mom and dad support completely — she’s cemented her desire to pursue field hockey when she attends University of Waterloo in September.
While studying an honours degree in science, she’ll be trying out for the Warriors.
“I’ve talked to the coach and tryouts are coming up soon,” she said, adding she’ll be prepared for Waterloo’s tryouts as her junior team with the Toronto Field Hockey Club plays in the provincial championship weekend August 21-22.
“Hopefully we can win that,” she said.