With a weekend road trip ahead for the Lady Flames field hockey squad, LibertyFlames.com turns its focus to this week's player spotlight Hannah Jones.
Jones hails from Mechanicsburg, Pa., and is sixth on the team in points. Jones is a senior defender and plays a key role in Liberty's attacking penalty corner unit. Jones currently has 18 career goals, tying her with Helen Doolittle for the fifth most goals in a career in program history. The senior defender also currently ranks No. 6 in career assists with 14. Jones has five assists thus far this season, tying her personal single-season record for assists.
Who introduced you to field hockey? Jones: I had never really heard of field hockey until about fifth grade when my older sister, Taylor, picked up the sport. She began playing and of course I tagged along to watch all of her games. It was watching her that I decided I wanted to try it out. She loved playing and I, of course, wanted to be just like her so I gave it a shot and never looked back!
Tell me about your family. What do your parents, or guardians, do? How many brothers or sisters do you have and what do they do? Jones: My family is great. My dad works for Lamar Advertising and sells billboards. He is absolutely great at his job. I am pretty sure he could sell dirt and make it seem appealing. My mom is a speech therapist and she works with young children under the age of 3. She also is so good at her job. Parents and kids that she works with absolutely adore her and they know that she is the best. I have two sisters, Taylor and Erin. Taylor is 24 years old and she lives in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is currently coaching a high school field hockey team and working in a restaurant. Erin is 18 and a freshman here at Liberty and it has been fantastic having her on campus this year.
If you weren't playing field hockey which sport would you enjoy playing? Jones: If I weren't playing field hockey, I would definitely be playing soccer. I played my whole life up to the time that I came to Liberty. It is a sport that I absolutely love. I always love getting out to some of the Liberty soccer games and watching the teams here compete.
Tell us your recruiting story on how you got to Liberty. Jones: My path to Liberty is one that I can only attribute to God's provision and His plan. I had heard about Liberty years ago and had always wanted to attend. However, there was no field hockey program and I had my heart set on playing hockey in college. My junior year, when Liberty announced that they were going to be getting a program, I received about seven text messages from friends and family members letting me know about the addition of the team. I emailed Coach right that day and told her I was interested. Several months, plenty of email correspondences, and a whole lot of prayer later, I committed to the school. There were so many minute details orchestrated entirely by the Lord and I have no doubt that this is where He wants me to be.
If you could get away from field hockey for a little bit, what would you enjoy doing? Jones: I really enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking. If I had more time on my hands I would definitely explore more and travel. I also really enjoy crafting and doing do-it-yourself projects and would carry out more of my creative whims.
What are you studying, and what do you enjoy about that? Jones: I am a Graphic Design major and I love getting to spend time essentially making things look "pretty." It's much more than that but I really enjoy getting to express myself in a different way and I have learned so much about design and art from my classes and professors here.
Who were your heroes growing up, and who did you emulate in the backyard or playground? Jones: My hero growing up was Mia Hamm, the former U.S. women's soccer player. I wanted to be just like her. She was amazing on the field and as every young athlete thinks, I was convinced that I was going to be a pro soccer player someday. As I am sure you can assume…that didn't happen.
With five contests left in the regular season, how important is it to finish those contests with a winning record? Jones: These last five games are crucial to our season. As you know, we are playing independently this year so our RPI is vital in our making the NCAA tournament. We plan to play every game as though we are in "tournament mode" and play 70 minutes of good, Liberty hockey. I am eager to see how the rest of our season plays out.
Following a tough 4-3 loss to No. 5 Virginia, what is the mindset of the team moving forward? Especially knowing that you have two Top 5 ACC opponents remaining on the schedule in Duke and North Carolina. Jones: Our mindset is the same as always. Yes, we were gutted after the UVA game but that just puts more wind in our sails to press on through the rest of the season and play our game. We know what we have to do and all 24 of us are prepared to lay out everything that we have. We do play Duke and North Carolina soon, and they are both great opponents. However, first we play two solid teams in UMass Lowell and Providence and our focus is on those matches at the minute. We take it one game at a time and know that if we pour out everything that we can give, the rest is up to the Lord and we trust Him in that. The field is our sanctuary and hockey is our worship and that is a very freeing reality.
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