Garrison Forest sophomore field hockey player Geagy Pritchard played a key role in helping the Grizzlies reached the IAAM A Conference championship last fall. Garrison Forest graduated most of its veteran nucleus, leaving Pritchard to assume a greater role as the Grizzlies hope to reach the finals again in 2010.

VSN: How did you get the nickname Geagy?

When I was baby I would say ‘Geagy,’ and my sisters started calling me that. It just stuck.


VSN: Talk about your freshman campaign last fall.

I was little timid because my sister [Ali] was on the team. Once I started playing with all of her friends, I got really into it and was part of the team.


VSN: What got you into field hockey?

I used to be a soccer player. I found out one of my friends’ dad started a rec field hockey team. We all started playing together and I fell in love with it.


VSN: What’s your most memorable moment?

Scoring the winning goal in overtime for my team [Harvest Hockey] to win our rec league championship.


VSN: What’s the biggest improvement you’ve made as a player from last season?

Looking up and seeing all my options. I would put my head down a lot and dribbled through. Now, I look up at all my options.


VSN: Is there a player you look up?

Keli Smith, who plays for the U.S. National team. She’s actually a good friend. We met a couple of years ago, and she’s given me a lot of tips.


VSN: During the summer, you were selected by USA Field Hockey to play in the Junior Olympic Games in Virginia. Talk about the experience?

I was really surprised. There were so many good players for National Futures. When I made it and got there [to Junior Olympics], I thought I was going to be timid, and I just fell in. It was a great experience.


VSN: You played alongside several veterans last year, but they’re graduated. You’re now, as a sophomore, is a leader on this 2010 Grizzlies squad. Talk about that change.

I guess you can say I’m leader because I direct people on the field in my position. I like to pick up my teammates because I know when I’m down, I lose it. I always try to pick up people’s spirits and give them a little motivation.


VSN: What do you do to relax?

I play some lacrosse, but I do field hockey all year around. It’s the one thing that makes me relax.


VSN: Have you started thinking about the future as far as college?

I just visited JMU [James Madison] and met the coach. I want to go to UNC, Wake Forest or UVa. I really want to play D-I hockey.


VSN: Did you ever think this was a possibility when first started playing field hockey?

No because I actually played softball as pitcher and thought I was going to go far with that. Before that, I played soccer and thought I was going to go far. I didn’t know what to expect when I started playing field hockey.


VSN: How do you relax before a game?

I’m really superstitious. I have to have my hair in braids and I tie my shoes about five times, they have to be perfectly tight. If I’m really nervous or need to calm down, I yawn until I get the air in. I learned that from Apollo Ohno.