2013 SALEM NEWS FIELD HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nicole Woods is a hockey player through and through. In fact, the Beverly senior believes that all the time she spent on the ice ultimately helped her become a better player on the field.
The Northeastern Conference MVP was a force for the Panthers this season, scoring 11 goals to go with 18 assists while helping the Orange-and-Black advance to the North Division 1 semifinals.
“I think coming from an ice hockey background helped my hand-eye coordination and I was used to working with 18 other girls,” said Woods, who will play field hockey at the University of Louisville next fall.
A superior athlete with top-end conditioning, Woods credits coach Ben Goodhue and the Beverly High strength and conditioning program.
The Panthers’ team captain believes her biggest strength is that she’s a team player. Her 18 assists on the season support that theory. “It’s always good to be able to pick your head up to see who’s cutting up field and running into space,” explained Woods. “It’s important to see the play before it happens.”
Woods’ leadership and team-first focus was a big reason why the Panthers had such a successful season. Beverly (15-2-1) was the Northeastern Conference champions for the sixth straight season and the No. 4 seed in the Division 1 North tournament, taking top-seeded Acton-Boxborough to overtime before falling in the semifinals, 1-0.
“I think it has to do with team chemistry,” said Woods of the 2013 squad’s success. “Every year it’s an important piece. This year there wasn’t a single girl who didn’t fit in. We were one big family and everyone had fun everyday.”
Right Half Back
Big Blue captain had her best individual performance in the Division 2 North state tournament against Wayland ... Northeastern Conference all-star ... Finished with three goals, two assists and was named team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player ... Considers her communication with teammates on and off the field her biggest strength as a player ... Loves the thrill of the win and the competition she’s experienced playing field hockey ... Hopes to walk on the field hockey team at whichever college she ends up attending.