Defensive minded

If you have ever seen a field hockey game, you will notice there isn’t a lot of scoring. The chances come few and far between.Teams that have a solid defense tend to be able to go far.

Williamsviile East High School has been a very good team for years. They have built a reputations for having hard-nosed players that will do anything for team. One of the those prototypical Williamsville East players is Emily Turton.

When you think of leaders - Turton is the one that comes to mind. She is the type of leader that doesn’t mind hearing her voice - which isn’t a bad thing. She is the type of vocal leader the Flames need.

“I am very loud and my voice spreads everywhere,” Turton recently said. “It's very easy for me to say something up to the forward line because my voice projects so far and everyone can hear me. I'm a very outgoing person so I'm not afraid to talk at all which definitely helps me be able to communicate with my teammates so much on the field.”

Being outgoing is important in her role. Not only does Turton lead the team, she also leads the back line for a very good Flames team. She is a captain for a reason. She knows what it takes to get the job done.

She isn’t afraid to put her body on the line if it means the Flames earning the victory. While she leads with her voice, Turton also leads by example.

“Being a good leader doesn't mean whose the most popular on the team or the best player on the field it's the one that helps direct everything,” stated Turton. “You need to be a huge communicator not only on the field but off the field too. Talking with coach and the players if there is some sort of problem on the team. And helping the team play the game sort of telling your team makes where to go on the field or how to do something is huge to being a solid leader.”

Communication is important in the position she plays. She needs to be able to see where everything is at all times. She needed to be able to communicate with the rest of her teammates on the backend.

What’s more important is she needs to be able to tell the forwards what’s going on. Having great communication could be the difference between a win and a loss.

“Communication in the backend of the field is a huge part of the game. You first need to make sure everyone calls out a player to mark in the circle one so know one is left unmarked and two so it doesn't cause any penalties against us,” stated Turton. “When in the circle, if the defensive team makes a mistake in the circle leading to a whistle it's will automatically result in a corner leaving the other team with a huge advantage. The communication from defenders needs to strong so we can help eliminate as many taken shots as possible.”

Turton, who is a three sport athlete, could probably play any sport she wanted in college. But, it’s field hockey that grabbed her attention at an early age. There was something about the sport that she just gravitated toward.

While others may have went into basketball, lacrosse or softball, Turton wanted to give field hockey a shot. You could say she may the right decision.

“I picked up the sport in fifth grade,” stated Turton. “My gym teacher told me to come to morning Intermurals that week because we were doing field hockey, so I listened to her and I loved the game. I didn't start to get serious with the sport until I started to play modified in seventh grade.”

Turton took to the defensive side of the game as well. The forwards get all the glory because they score all the goals. At the end of the day, however, it’s the defense that wins championships.

Playing solid defense can lead to good offensive possessions. Turton has been able to work on her craft all year round. While also playing basketball and lacrosse for Williamsville East, Turton also plays club field hockey.

Being able to hone her game all year round has made her in to the type of player she is today.

“There really is no off season for me I play field hockey year round that just keeps going all year,” explained Turton. “I play for the club The Western New York Whalers and we start practice right after school season ends right up to when school season starts, so I'm always working on improving my game sense and skills there. Along with playing field hockey I also play basketball and lacrosse for my school that helps me keep in shape for field hockey”

You would think by going all year round that injuries would set in. Turton, however, does a very good job taking care of her body. She needs to be in outstanding shape to withstand the pounding from field hockey and the rest of the sports she plays.

She knows getting her work in on the field is just as important as getting it in on the field.

“In field hockey you need a lot of endurance and lower body strength,” she said. “I try work out on my own almost everyday. And I always start and end my workouts with cardio to look to increase my endurance.”

Just like the good leader she is, Turton deflects the attention from her. She knows for this team to be successful it’s a sectional title or bust. It would be easy for her just focus on the personal goals she would like to accomplish.

But, team goals is what drives her. If the team does well, Turton knows she has done her job as a great leader.

“I want to lead my team past sectionals. For the past three years now we've always been so close and I just keep saying that this is the year that we're going far,” she said. “We have such incredible talent this year that I just see us finally showing everyone what Williamsville East field hockey is made of. I want to win sectionals and go to states, because I know we have such potential to do so.”