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The Yankee Express

Sutton goalie will take her talents to the next level

Goalie Caroline Lambert is looking to finish up her field hockey career at Sutton High in strong fashion.

Staff Sports Writer

Playing field hockey for Caroline Lambert all began in the seventh grade. Prior to the introduction to the sport, she had never picked up a stick or thought about the sport. When she got to the seventh grade in the Sutton Public School system she was given the chance to either play one of a minimal number of sports; she gravitated toward field hockey.
 “Seventh graders were allowed to play certain sports on the high school level,” Lambert said. “A lot of my friends were going to soccer as that is what they had played. I was into dance, so I decided to try field hockey.”
As an athlete newly introduced to the sport Lambert wanted to try every position possible as she really didn’t know where she wanted to play or would fit in. It wasn’t until she was playing some pick-up games during the winter months with her friends to not only stay active but improve their skills when she first played goalie. It didn’t take long and soon she was infatuated with the position.
“I love the competition of the game and being active,” she said. “Playing goalie gave me this amazing adrenaline rush as I was more involved, and I could see everything that was happening on the entire field.”
As she was entering the eighth grade Lambert realized that field hockey was something that she would definitely be interested in playing in college so she joined a club team, the Cape Ann Field Hockey Club out of Worcester, so she could hone her skills. Playing with the club team not only helped her with her improvement but it also eventually led to a verbal commitment with the University of New Haven in Connecticut to play goalie with the field hockey team.
  To get to the point that the Connecticut school would ask her to join their team Lambert had to take her newfound love and learn as much about the sport and position as she could. During those first two years while she was in middle school playing for the junior varsity team, she found that everything she was doing was experimental as she tried to figure everything out. 
Lambert felt that she was a good communicator and needed to build a trust with her defenders.
“I was working on my overall skill set and wanted to show them that I trusted them as much as they trusted me,” the college-bound athlete said. “I needed to be my best and at that time I really didn’t have a lot of tools in my toolbox. I was young and didn’t know the position all that well yet but the training with my club team really helped me get ready for high school field hockey.”
As a freshman entering Sutton High School, Lambert made the varsity team as a back-up goalie despite being very nervous. 
“As a freshman she came in confident and with a lot of experience due to her playing year-round and attending a lot of camps,” Sutton Field Hockey Coach Sarah Bellavance said. “That year she had such a good group of leaders above her, and she bought into our plans and never wavered from what she was doing.”
Sutton finished Lambert’s freshman campaign 15-1-2, earning the number one seed in the Division 2 Central Tournament. The Susies eventually lost to Oakmont in the semifinals.
Coming off a successful season, Sutton was looking to improve upon its semifinals appearance, but Covid struck, and everything was turned upside down. 
“My sophomore year was when colleges could start reaching out, but I really didn’t get to showcase my talents that year because of the pandemic,” Lambert said. “We played the same teams that were close to us and there was no Sectional or State Tournaments. I really didn’t feel cheated as I was a sophomore with two more years, but I really felt bad for the seniors that missed out on so much that year.”
As a junior last fall and now playing under the new MIAA power rankings Sutton earned a five seed as they entered the Division 4 State Championships. The Susies defeated Carver 5-0 in the first round and then edged out Hamilton-Wenham 1-0 before falling 2-1 to Ipswich in the Round of 8. 
As one of three Sutton seniors to take the field this fall, Coach Bellavance is looking for Lambert to be a prominent leader. According to the coach, she is the voice that drives the defense, and the girls look up to her.
“She’s made mistakes through the years, but it has helped her learn and grow,” Bellavance said. “She takes constructive criticism to heart no matter how harsh it may be. She is going to be a big part of us bouncing back and having another good season and making a Central Mass run.”
Coming into her final season with Sutton, Lambert is hoping to just go out onto the field while playing the best that she possibly can.
“With only three seniors on this year’s team we are young, and the year is going to be a rebuilding one of sorts,” Lambert said. “I want to keep the field hockey tradition strong at Sutton and go as far as we possibly can.”
Despite having a rather young team (17 freshmen and sophomores) take the field this year Coach Bellavance firmly believes that the team will win at least 50% of their games and qualify for the tournament and Lambert will be one of the seniors to lead them.