WATERVILLE — Emily Hogan and Riley Field are perfect examples that there are different paths to accomplish one’s goals.

The Messalonskee High School seniors officially committed to the next step in their athletic and academic lives Wednesday afternoon, as each signed their National Letters of Intent to play Division I field hockey in a ceremony held in a classroom near Ayotte Auditorium on the campus of Thomas College.

Field will remain close to home and play for the University of Maine next fall after deciding between UMaine, Providence College and the Universities of Vermont and New Hampshire. Hogan, meanwhile, will attend American University in Washington, D.C.

“It’s really surreal honestly,” said Hogan, who picked American over Boston University. “It’s really crazy to think how much time I’ve put into this sport and it’s all paying off.”

“It’s really exciting having all my friends here and my teammates here and my coaches and my parents,” added Field. “It’s really cool working all this way and working up to this moment.”

While both Hogan and Field will be going from playing for Messalonskee and the Majestix club team to D-I programs, their first interactions with the game could not have been any more different.

Hogan first picked up the sport when she was 4 years old — on the other side of the world.

Hogan’s mother, Louise, was a Maine native who met her husband, Marcus, a native of Australia, in Boston. The couple later moved to Australia, which is where Emily Hogan spent the first 10 years of her life before moving to Maine.

“It was a big change, especially the move itself because everything was different,” Emily Hogan said. “I went from a different climate and the school was all different.

“…This entire experience was all kind of crazy different but it was kind of nice because I kind of got to start over a little bit.”

While her accent did not translate — Hogan said she lost it by the end of sixth grade — her field hockey skills certainly did. It was also about the same time that Field found her athletic calling after trying everything from basketball to softball to track and karate.

“I started (playing field hockey) in seventh grade,” said Field, who — like Hogan — also plays on Messalonskee’s girls lacrosse team in the spring. “I didn’t start Majestix until my freshman year and I didn’t really pick it up until the end of my sophomore year. I just started playing year-round from sophomore year.

“…Playing a lot of sports in my past has really helped me just catching onto the game quickly.”

That dedication, according to Messalonskee head coach Katie McLaughlin, is what allowed both to take their talents to the Division I level.

“Their work ethic is huge. Any time they have a free Friday night maybe instead of going to the movies they go down to a field hockey field anywhere around and they’re working on those individual skills all the time,” McLaughlin said. “They’ve kept it fun as well. Every time I walk out to practice they’re already there and they’re already playing. It’s every coach’s dream.”

Hogan and Field are not the first to go on to play D-I field hockey from Messalonskee and do not expect them to be the last, either. Current players Autumn Littlefield, Ally Corbett, Lydia Dexter and Haley Lowell are all drawing attention from D-I schools as well, said McLaughlin.

“It’s been a really great program. Majestix has done a ton in the offseason and inseason we really work to continue building their skills,” McLaughlin said. “We’re so lucky to have this kind of turnaround of D-I players and even D-II and D-III.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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