Melissa Bierley, South River, field hockey

Q&A --



Playing in her fourth varsity season, senior Melissa Bierley leads the No. 2-ranked Seahawks in scoring. A three-year starter in field hockey, Bierley also plays lacrosse and is on the yearbook staff. She lives on the water in Riva and is into tubing and skiing.

Which of the two sports you play do you hope to play in college?

Field hockey is my favorite, and I want to play it in college. I will be making visits to Lynchburg (Va.), York (Pa.) and Christopher Newport (Va.). I had played lacrosse forever and didn't start playing field hockey until high school when my brothers encouraged me to. I love the team thing with field hockey and I enjoy making an assist as much as scoring a goal.

How many brothers do you have?

I have three older brothers who played football and lacrosse at South River. And my dad encouraged me, too. I lost my mom when I was 6. She died of cancer. I have good memories of her as a nurse and my father is a pharmacist. So that's why I have interests in hospital-related things, and since I love kids, I would like to become a pediatrician or physical therapist.

You had Laura Hofner-Gerrior as your field hockey coach the first two years and Katie Corcoran the past two. What's that been like?

They're very similar in their approach, and Katie was an assistant my first two years. She's a very good coach and she and her assistant, Megan Atkinson, make it fun but know when to be serious.

What's the team camaraderie like?

We never have any problems. Everyone gets along, is supportive of each other, and it's exciting to play on the team. We always have a good season and our coaches make you want to be there.

What's it like playing and trying to beat perennial county and state champion Severna Park?

It's always an amazing game, such a high level of skills, always a close game. My sophomore year we beat them in regular season but lost the county championship game to them.

What have you gotten out of your high school experience at South River?

Playing field hockey, I've learned a lot as a person. I've grown so much from my freshman year to my senior year as a person. I'm a better person, understand people better and am more open-minded. I realize everyone is different. Some of my teachers, like my English teacher, Mr. [Thor] Young, have taught me a lot. He teaches us about life after high school, and I appreciate that.

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