By Ronald Hanaki
Senior team captain Ashley Chioda from the Field Hockey team recently concluded an outstanding collegiate career where she led the Warriors to the PSAC Championship Game and the Final Four of the NCAA Division II Tournament held in Kentucky.
Chioda said, “It was definitely a great experience to get on an airplane with the team and travel to play in the national tournament.”
“We had a banquet in a reputable place that is well-known throughout the world,” stated Chioda.
“I also liked having Division I, II and III there,” said Chioda. “Everyone was put together at the banquet, which was a cool experience.”
The Dallastown, Pa. native was originally a soccer player before she decided to play field hockey as a seventh grader.
Chioda said, “All my friends in school were playing field hockey.”
Chioda was an outstanding midfielder in high school who was recruited by several Division III schools.
Then Sandy Miller, Head Coach of ESU Field Hockey, came calling.
“I knew that ESU was a school were I could be a nursing major and play a sport. Coach Miller was also willing to work with my crazy schedule,” said Chioda.
Chioda only played in eight games as a freshman.
“I definitely had to work my way up,” said Chioda. “But I got to watch other people play at a high level.”
Chioda used that as motivation to train hard during the offseason between her freshman and sophomore years.
The hard work paid off. Chioda started all 22 games as a sophomore and helped lead the Warriors to conference and national championships.
“I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but it was definitely a lot of fun and worth it,” said Chioda.
Chioda talked about the difficulties of balancing academics with athletics.
“There is a saying in Division II athletics: life in the balance,” stated Chioda.
“Family first, academics second and field hockey third,” said Chioda. “Through the success of the first two, you will be successful in your sport.”
“You have to prioritize life,” stated the Type A personality. “I have homework parties on Friday nights, but I got more work done on the weekends.”
After graduating from ESU, Chioda plans to get a job in her hometown as a nurse.
“Nursing has a lot of crazy hours,” said Chioda. “But maybe after I am done with college, I will go back to help my high school and club teams.”
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