A wing and an academic player Field hockey: Arundel's Cecilia Moreira not only tops her senior class academically, she's a scorer on field and, says her coach, a centering influence for an improved team that already has more wins than last year's squad.

October 16, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Arundel senior Cecilia Moreira has found plenty of success both in the classroom and at left wing on the Wildcats field hockey team.

There are secrets to both.

Academically, she ranks first in her class of 410 and has only one flaw in an otherwise A-filled three-plus years at Arundel High.

"The only B I've had was in history last year, so it was best to stay away from that and take more science classes this year," Moreira said.

In field hockey, scoring goals from the left side can be a little tricky, but as leading scorer this season for the Wildcats with seven goals and an assist, it's apparent Moreira also has that down pat.

"You have to be quick to get your feet around to be at a certain angle to get a shot off," she said. "I try to lift the ball a little. When it hits the back [of the cage] and you hear that noise, it's the best feeling I know."

At 6-3-2 this season following a 1-0 win over Broadneck on Tuesday, the Wildcats have improved significantly from last year's team, which won just four times. Arundel eight-year coach Clint Gosnell said Moreira's improved play has coincided with the team's success.

"This is Cecilia's third year on varsity, and she's worked hard to improve her skills. Now that she has the experience and knows she can do it, her confidence level has gone up," he said.

"The important thing is we have a good mix of seniors and juniors. They all get along well, and everyone has a role. Cecilia is a senior [who] has been successful and commands respect. She's handled that well and is a centering influence on the team."

The Wildcats' recipe for success has been hard work and fun. Activities away from the field have played a big role in getting the team closer, including pasta parties the night before a big game.

Moreira, with her speed, crafty dodging and accurate shooting, is simply enjoying the ride.

"I'm just glad to be part of it all," she said. "Last year, the biggest thing we learned was the importance of working together. This year, we're more like a family, doing stuff off the field and having a lot more spirit. Playing together, we trust each other a lot more now and feel more comfortable."

Moreira came to Arundel with a head start in field hockey after learning something about the game from her older sister during middle school. The sport has a big role in her life, which can get demanding with the emphasis she puts on academics, along with numerous other school activities she participates in.

"Field hockey is like a release for me from the whole world and all the stress that can build up," she said. "When I'm on the field, I have fun and can be aggressive."

And she's been plenty aggressive finding the goal this season.

"She's been the most productive left wing I've had since I've been coaching," Gosnell said. "When the ball comes in the circle, you know she's going to find a way to get a shot off. But Cecilia is not interested in how many goals she can score. She's interested more in team success and her personal progress."

Moreira, who plans to major in chemical engineering, is looking at a number of colleges, among them Princeton, Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland-College Park and UMBC.

There will always be time for field hockey.

"I don't want to give up field hockey, so I'll at least play intramurals [in college]," she said. "I don't know what I'd do without it, I enjoy it so much."

Pub Date: 10/16/97

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