EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – Senior Annie Mulford and her Edwardsville High School field hockey team traveled to the University of Louisville this summer for a pre-season tournament and had the chance to watch the USA field hockey team go through its practice routine. A month later, those same women were in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil making a run to the quarter finals at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Mulford says she now thinks about the possibilities of one day being a part of that practice she saw live, and the games she watched this summer.
She has been invited to multiple USA Olympic Development and Futures Elite Academy Programs since 2013, and she only started playing field hockey as a middle schooler. Now, she has led the Tigers in goals every year since her freshman season.
And has taken Edwardsville deep into the post season each year. To the semi-finals of the Midwest Field Hockey Tournament in 2014 and to the round of 16 both last year, and in 2013. The Midwest Tournament is the equivalent of a state championship for St. Louis area schools.
This season is Mulford’s last chance for that title, which is something head coach Julia Tyler doesn’t let her Tigers forget.
“We definitely talk about that everyday at practice about how we have two months together,” Tyler says. “You just have to you know keep pushing each other and keep working hard to hopefully get the end result of a state title.”
Tyler is pushing for Mulford to lead not just the team, but also the St. Louis area in scoring this season. Near the season’s halfway point, Mulford currently has 22 points, with seven goals and eight assists. In her first three seasons at Edwardsville, she averaged just over 52 points per season.
“Annie is all about her team first and more of a playmaker role than anything else and she’ll look for the pass before she’ll look for that shot,” Tyler says.
Mulford says it wasn’t until she began her first season with her club team, AIM Field Hockey, in 2013 that she learned what kind of player she was.
“At national club tournaments and with my club team,” Mulford says. “Like these girls are amazing players playing at top schools and you’re like ‘Well they do this really well, so I’m going to work on that.’ And so like always being around better competition is really motivating too.”
Now, as a senior, she is among those top national talents, after accepting a D-1 offer from the University of Louisville.
“I think after season I’ll focus more on Louisville,” Mulford says. “And what I need to be doing just fitness wise, mental wise, skill wise.”
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