WATERVILLE — When they graduated from Messalonskee High School, Emily Hogan and Ally Corbett didn’t expect to be teammates again. They certainly didn’t expect to be teammates on the Colby College field hockey team, so close to home. Neither knew the other was considering transferring to Colby after a freshman year away, Hogan at American University in Washington, D.C., and Corbett at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Both Corbett and Hogan are making immediate impacts in the Mules lineup. Both started Colby’s season opener Wednesday night, a 6-0 win over Husson. Corbett played all 70 minutes at center back. A forward, Hogan scored a goal in the Mules lopsided victory. Colby has its first New England Small College Athletic Conference game Saturday, when it hosts Tufts at 1 p.m.

Emily Hogan

“Maine was where I was supposed to be,” Corbett said. “It was nice to have someone I did know in a program that is really up and coming.”

Being closer to home also was a factor in Hogan’s decision to transfer to Colby. After meeting with Kelly Terwilliger, Colby’s field hockey coach, Hogan knew the Waterville school was the right fit.

“I wasn’t really focused on what division I was going to play in. I just wanted to be somewhere where I felt comfortable and felt like I was going to get the right kind of education and be in the right team environment,” Hogan said. “For me, the coach was a big part of choosing a team. That was a big factor when I initially was doing my recruiting my junior year of high school, and it was still a big factor. I feel like the connection I had with Coach Kelly when I came to visit really had a huge impact on where I decided to go.”

Terwilliger, now in her third season as Colby’s head coach, knew the pair through her work coaching the Majestix club field hockey team. She knew Steve Jennings, Hogan’s coach at American, from her days as an assistant coach at Ohio State.

Ally Corbett

“Field hockey is field hockey. Especially NESCAC field hockey. They’re going to get one of the top playing experiences in the country, at any level,” Terwilliger said. “Colby is a great place for anybody. For me, I was very confident in what Colby could provide them… It was a different road to get them here, but they’re here, and I couldn’t be happier for them.”

While Hogan played field hockey last fall as a freshman at American, Corbett stepped away from the game while enrolled at St. Joseph’s. Like Hogan, Terwilliger was a factor in Corbett choosing Colby.

“It might be a surprise, but I actually did enjoy the time I had off. It was a good time to reflect on what I really wanted. I just think I didn’t really know what I wanted. It’s what really fit me as a person,” Corbett said.

The Messalonskee grads joined another Division I transfer, Georgia Cassidy, who came to Colby last year from the University of North Carolina and scored 15 goals and three assists. Terwilliger feels Hogan and Corbett fit in immediately with the Mules.

“We’re not even a week in. It’s fun to see how quickly they can turn around and get adjusted to a new team, new school, new everything,” Terwilliger said. “Just watching Emily play, she’s a big presence on the field. She’s able to use her strength on ball and her creative skills. She’s a goal scorer.

“Ally just holds our center position. She’s a distributor. She sees the game at a very high level. She sees that pass, that play forming.”

Both were nervous heading into Wednesday’s game.

“I was super nervous. For whatever reason. Maybe it just being my first college game. I’ve played many, many games at different levels of field hockey, and I think this was the most nervous I’ve ever been,” Corbett said.

Hogan scored her goal late in the first half, at the 29:30 mark. Hogan’s goal gave the Mules a 3-0 lead.

“I had an amazing setup from (Sarah) Gaffney. It was right place at the right time. It was a really good feeling. Being a forward, it’s my job to score. My team does all this work getting the ball up into the circle. It’s up to me and the other two forwards to put it in,” Hogan said. “I feel like once I got that goal, it made me feel a lot more settled. It made me feel like, OK, I’m here. I’m doing this. I’m in the right place.”

Colby went 9-6 last season, 4-6 in NESCAC games, and just missed the conference tournament. The NESCAC includes defending Division III national champion Middlebury, and a member of the league has played in each national championship game since 2010 and 10 of the last 11. Improvement does not come easily in the NESCAC.

“I think our team definitely has a lot of talent. We’re making changes and we’re progressing,” Hogan said.

“We have a lot of potential, and hopefully we reach that potential by the end of the season. The NESCAC doesn’t give you a lot of time,” Terwilliger said.

Close to home, Corbett and Hogan are eager to help the Mules take the next step.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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