Pine-Richland grad Sarah Metzmaier stars for Kenyon College field hockey team
Around this time one year ago, Kenyon field hockey player and Pine-Richland product Sarah Metzmaier was beginning the initial stages of her recovery from knee surgery after suffering an injury to her meniscus and MCL.
The injury marked the first significant physical setback Metzmaier suffered in her athletic career and caused her to miss the second half of her freshman season.
Now, Metzmaier is celebrating being named the 2019 North Coast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after racking up 16 goals while leading the Ladies to a 15-4 record and a share of the NCAC regular-season title.
“Coming into this year, (the injury) was sort of a wake-up call,” Metzmaier said. “I’ve never had an injury that caused me to miss more than one game, and it was tough to miss all that time. I just couldn’t wait to get back out there.
“This summer, while most of my teammates were working on their skills and conditioning, I was on the rehabilitation route. I was doing physical therapy instead of running and conditioning. It played a role in how I played this year. I think it helped me stay focused. I’m thankful that I had a strong PT staff to help me get where I needed to be.”
While Metzmaier wouldn’t say she had zero concerns about stepping back out onto the field on her surgically repaired knee, her play throughout the year showed little signs of hesitation.
In addition to leading her team and tying for the conference lead in goals, the former Ram tallied three assists to give her 35 points on the season — the fifth-best total in Kenyon College field hockey history.
“I’m not only proud of myself for it, but I’m proud of the team,” Metzmaier said. “I think it’s a reflection of not just the hard work that I put in, but the hard work that all of us put in together in order to have a strong season.
“We definitely improved on every single line: defense, midfield and offense. Our whole team dynamic was great. We just had so much confidence in each other, knowing that every teammate you passed it to could get the job done. It played a big part in our success together.”
Kevin Lohman is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.