CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. ‒ Megan Bozek has transformed herself from an offensive powerhouse during her field hockey years at Lakeland into a defensive standout at the University of New Hampshire.
Bozek, who led Lakeland to the 2009 New York State Class A title, earned a starting position on defense her freshman year at UNH. Today she is one of the stars of the America East Conference, which recently named her American East defensive player of the week award.
“I was very honored and surprised when I found out I was selected for the award,” said the UNH junior. “I never go into a game wanting to win an award. I always want to give 110 percent and do whatever it takes to get our team a win.
“That particular weekend we were playing the then No. 7 team in the country, and I knew we needed to be firing on all cylinders to get the win.”
Along with the award, Bozek is currently fourth in the nation with three defensive saves. Bozek makes her presence known, especially on defensive penalty corners.
“It’s exciting knowing that I am doing my job,” said Bozek, who is majoring in Second Education-Mathematics. “On the defensive penalty corners I am the post player, which means I am the lowest defender near the goal. I am responsible for any shots to the goalie’s left that she can’t reach when she drops.”
With the graduation of two senior defenders, Bozek has become the defensive leader this season.
“When they graduated it was my turn to step into the leadership role,” Bozek said. “During the spring I learned to trust my instincts and be more patient.”
Bozek has not lost her offensive prowess. She has scored five goals and is a vital member of the offensive penalty-corner unit.
“The last two years I have been on corners, but the quality of my hitting and footwork was average,” Bozek said. “This summer I took the time to really concentrate on my hit placement and my footwork and I’ve had some immense improvement.”