Duke junior Ashley Camano will keep a weekly blog for the 2012 season, giving Duke fans an inside look at life on the Blue Devil field hockey team.
Look for Ashley's blog every week during the season on GoDuke.com
After a thrilling split weekend at home, including our first win of the season on our beloved Williams' Field, the girls and I left the locker room on Sunday during the early evening with nothing but Tuesday morning practice in mind. After a hard-fought match against the highly-skilled Monarchs of Old Dominion, we showered, refueled at a post-game tailgate with our parents and fans, and started thinking about the practices in which we'd prepare for next Friday-a battle against our most intense rival, a fight across the Triangle and within the nation's most competitive conference-the yearly match between your Duke University Blue Devils and the UNC Tar Heels.
With only three days of preparatory practice for Friday's match, it's important for the team to focus every ounce of energy to our task at hand. From the moment we open the doors from the field house and step on the watered turf as the sun rises over Jack Katz Stadium, we're getting to work. Tuesday morning, 8a.m... Wednesday morning, 8 a.m... Thursday morning, 7:30a.m... Getting out of bed, across campus and into a pair of shorts and a reversible pinnie isn't the easiest task imaginable, but the focus and the fight need to be brought from the get-go. Cue the music.
Perhaps the easiest way to get our legs warmed up is not a stretch, not a sprint, but a 90s throwback blasting during our team warm-up. Sometimes it's America's Top 40, sometimes it's rap, sometimes it's country (though few and far between), but you can bet that Duke Field Hockey's best practices are born with a bumping playlist to spike our heart rates. With the first beat of a song or the first line of the first verse, it's more than clear whose iPod is attached to the soundsystem. If the first song is Britney Spears' "Circus," subsequently followed by Britney Spears "Lucky," "Oops I Did it Again," and "Stronger," there's no doubt that playlist was born of Grace Christus' iPod. Justin Bieber? Brenna Rescigno, undoubtedly. Usher's "Let It Burn" and slow r&b? Abby Hassinger. Motown mixes come from Mary Nielsen. Unfortunately my rotation of Toby Keith and The Killers isn't as desired by my teammates as they are by myself. Regardless, you can find the team with a little spark in our step after listening to Avicii (which I wouldn't ever engage in away from the turf) or singing along to Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."
Furthermore, DUFH would like to extend a warmly worded apology to the residents of Bell Tower for the 7:55am music blaring from the speakers mounted above our stadium and perfectly at your ear level-your cooperation (though entirely involuntary) is making us better. Who needs an alarm clock when you've got the field hockey team warming up out your window?