When Kathy Daly began playing field hockey for W.T. Woodson as a freshman her hopes were only to make the team. Now, three years later, Daly is one of the top players in the Virginia AAA Northern Region.
This past summer the Cavalier senior was a member of the southern region Junior Olympic team, which won a bronze medal in a four-region competition.
The 5-foot-6 brunette was one of four girls out of 100 to attend the C Level Olympic developmental camp and be selected to a regional Junior Olympic team.
"I didn't expect it," said Daly. "I knew I had a chance, everybody had a chance. I was excited."
Daly plays center link, which is behind the foward line. It is both an offensive and a defensive position which requires a lot of experience. Her play this fall for the Cavaliers has been influenced by things she learned at the camp.
"It was a great experience playing on the Junior Olympic team," said Daly. "I am constantly working to improve on what I learned while playing. I came home and practiced -- sometimes by myself -- what I had seen other girls doing, like stick moves and fakes."
Her play has helped Woodson to a deceiving 3-3 start. Two of the losses were decided by strokes and the third also went to overtime.
"Kathy is a born leader," said Woodson Coach Diane Connolly. "In the position she plays, she governs the whole team."
Soccer has helped make Daly a competitive hockey player. When she is not at hockey practice it is likely she is playing with her select soccer team.
A member of an athletic family (her mother and sister have also played field hockey, Daly has participated in soccer for seven years and has been a member of the Fairfax Police Youth Club Scramblers '67 team for the last five, which usually advances to tournament play.
For the past three years Daly has made the Virginia State girls under-18 soccer team.
"I wouldn't be anywhere in hockey without soccer," she said. "I came into hockey much more knowledgeable because of soccer. Soccer strategy is used alot in hockey."
"I hope they (soccer and hockey) will help me get me accepted to college. I love them so much.
"The schools I'm looking at don't give scholarships," said Daly, "I want to go to Brown. I have talked to both the hockey and soccer coaches. I don't know which sport I want to play in college."
Daly is an aggressive hockey player, and the way she performs affects the team's play.
"You can slow down Woodson if you can slow down Kathy Daly," said T.C. Williams Coach Shawn Noel. "Kathy is a playmaker. It is a mental game for her."
"When Kathy's doing bad, the team does bad, and when she's doing well, the team does well," said teammate June Harrington. "She has total control of the game, and she knows what she has to do. She is a good leader and gets everyone psyched."
Modest best describes Daly's assessment of her athletic ability. She doesn't see herself as the gifted player that she is.
"It has taken a long time to convince her how good she is," said Connolly. "She doesn't see herself as above the rest of the team."
"Hockey has made high school so much more fun," said Daly. "I'm sad to see it end. It gets me through the school day. I'm told, I look like I'm having fun out there."