Senior field hockey co-captains Marissa Dias and Maddy Pimental had their sights set on making it to this year’s playoffs with their teammates by their side.
Having looked forward to this moment since joining the team, Dias and Pimental’s dreams were crushed when their last chance to take the field in Framingham State uniforms was dashed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Pimental, who is originally from Dartmouth, has been playing field hockey since the eighth grade and decided to continue her athletic career at Framingham State her sophomore year.
“I wasn’t going to play – then one of my teammates in high school said they needed more people and said to join and I was like, ‘OK,’” Pimental said.
Dias, who grew up in Attleboro, has played field hockey since the second grade and decided to join Framingham State as one of the starter fullbacks. This is her second year as captain, finishing with a .133 shot percentage, registering a pair of assists, and no penalty strokes against her.
“I started other sports first then my friends pulled me in,” Dias said. “And here we are.”
The girls were devastated to hear their final season came to an abrupt finish.
“I truthfully thought we were going to play,” Dias said.
“I kinda lost it,” she added. “I think our whole team took it pretty hard. We were all looking forward to this year. We were supposed to be really good. …It’s the year we worked for and we kind of just got it taken from us.”
Pimental took the field as a forward, scoring the winning goal against Fitchburg State – FSU’s first win against them. The team also took the victory against Umass Dartmouth for their very first win against them as well.
“As a team, we really clicked that game,” Dias said. “We wanted to win as a team, and I think that’s where we finally clicked as a team.”
Fortunately, Dias and Pimental have still found ways to come together with their team this season.
Pimental said, “We do captains’ practice, and then Monday through Wednesday, we have regular practice.”
Pimental and Dias’s friendship with their teammates is something they will take with them even after they turn in their uniforms.
Dias said, “My team has given me a lot of confidence. I’ve always played sports, and I’ve always played field hockey, and I’ve always been on a team. I’ve never had a team back me the way that this team does.”
She said the field hockey team has always been there to cheer her on or get excited for a game-winning play.
While in high school, Pimental’s field hockey team was divided and she never had a sisterly bond with her teammates. However, this changed when she joined FSU’s team.
She said, “Everyone feels like a sister to me. Even if you mess up, no one’s going to be mad at you – everyone’s going to have your back. It’s just so tight-knit, and that’s what I needed going into college.”
Dias said one of her favorite experiences as captain is watching the younger players grow. “Seeing where they come in – a lot of them are really timid and shy – and then watching them grow into that, the field hockey player they were supposed to be, is really cool.
“We have a great new player – her name is Abby – she’s a freshman, and she’s got a great shot, but she just needed to work on her chip. I just told her one little bit of advice that helped move the angle of her stick and then, she got it down perfectly and was just so excited.”
Dias added, “Watching the other girls get excited about the stuff they accomplish is definitely the best part for me.”
Leaving the Framingham uniforms behind but not the fRAMily spirit, the captains share some advice for the team’s season next fall.
“Definitely don’t take any moment for granted,” Pimental said. “If you need help with something, don’t hesitate to ask, and just try to improve yourself as much as you can and know that doesn’t go unnoticed.”
“Whatever you think you can’t do, you can,” Dias said. “I think we finally have that team aspect – that every single person on the field believes in you, so just do it! Just go for it!”
[Editor’s note: Editor-in-Chief Ashley Wall contributed to this article]