Every Thursday, Loudoun Extra publishes a brief Q&A with an area athlete or coach.
NAME: Melissa Noe
SPORT: Field hockey
NOTABLE: Starting center midfielder for the Foxes, who are 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Independent Schools League. . . . Also plays lacrosse and was first-team All-Extra in the spring after scoring 37 goals. . . . Attended Notre Dame Academy as a freshman and sophomore before transferring to Foxcroft as a junior. . . . Lives in Upperville.
Extra: What makes field hockey a difficult sport to play?
Noe: "If you're playing on a field with a lot of bumps, trying to keep the ball on the end of your stick is hard. It can be hard to stop a ball that size with the portion of the stick that you can use; if you don't position yourself right, you won't be able to do it. It can be frustrating. You have to practice your stickwork and dodges. Until you get those down, you'll run into people or sit and hack away at the ball for 10 minutes. Until you learn the little, fine details of the sport, it can be hard. But once you do it, it can be a lot of fun."
Extra: What kind of interests do you have away from field hockey and lacrosse?
Noe: "I have horses, but I don't get to ride a lot because I'm busy with school. I have three horses--Max, Cricket and Percy--and I ride maybe two or three times a week. I used to do the local shows and fox hunting. One of my horses loves fox hunting. Cricket lives for that; when the fall comes, Cricket puts on a smile and works hard."
Extra: Do you prefer show jumping or fox hunting?
Noe: "Fox hunting. It's fun, and it's fast. You're out riding cross-country. I enjoy riding in the ring, but it's nice to not have to go round and round in a big circle. There's a real point to riding, and it's exciting. You never quite know what you're going to do when you go fox hunting."
Extra: Do you consider fox hunting to be a sport?
Noe: "It's definitely a sport; it wears you out. It's the horse who's doing the galloping, but my horse is strong, and I spend a lot of time trying to slow him down. That takes strength. It's definitely a workout. After four hours out there, I want nothing more than to go home and go to bed. It's a different kind of workout than field hockey."