September 2011 was a milestone month for senior co-captain Kelly Hood and her Dartmouth field hockey teammates. Hood broke the Dartmouth record of 113 career total points and 47 goals, both of which were set by Lauren Welsh ’03 in 2002. Ali Savage ’15 was twice named Ivy League Rookie of the Week. And powered by two goals from Hood, the Big Green snapped Princeton’s 24-game Ivy League win streak with a 2-1 victory over the Tigers.
After being sidelined last season by a broken cheekbone, co-captain Kelly Hood ’12 returned to play and set a new Dartmouth record for career total points and goals. (photo by John Risley)
For her achievements, Hood, a Berlin, N.H., resident, was selected a WMUR-Channel 9 “Hometown Hero” and the New Hampshire Union Leader Athlete of the Month for September.
“I’ve been part of the program for 12 years and in the modern game of field hockey, since we’ve gotten turf, she’s one of the strongest and best players that we’ve had,” says head coach Amy Fowler. “She’s a blue-collar workhorse on the field and she is giving 100 percent all the time. She sets a tone and an example through her work ethic.”
The team closed with a 2-1 overtime victory over Cornell on November 6, finishing the season with a 10-7 record (5-2 Ivy) and a league tie for third with Columbia.
Last year, Hood was also helping to pace her team to a stellar season until the ball on a Yale player’s aerial pass hit her face, breaking her cheekbone in three places. Sidelined for the team’s final four games, the senior co-captain managed to turn the injury into a learning experience.
“I learned a lot from it because I tend to be pretty quiet and I always led by example,” says Hood, who was still named an All-American and selected to the All-Ivy First Team for her outstanding play prior to the season-ending injury. “But when that was taken away from me I was forced to find my own voice on the team, I had to speak up. In that sense it’s made me a better leader this year.” Fowler adds, “Instead of just sitting back, she really came out of her shell. After her surgery, we found Kelly actively helping out in every aspect of practice, including coaching her direct replacement on attacking penalty corners. It was refreshing to see Kelly be so vocal.”
An English major with an education minor, Hood has been helping others throughout her undergraduate years. She coaches an indoor high school field hockey league in Woodstock, Vt., which was founded by associate head coach Andy Smith. During sophomore summer, she mentored a high school student participating in the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) program, and then worked full-time as an intern at SEAD partner school Fairmont (West Virginia) Senior High School during her junior winter term. This past summer, she taught at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H.
After graduation, Hood plans to teach English and coach field hockey, preferably at a boarding school like her alma mater, the Holderness School. In the meantime, she was treasuring her final games as a Dartmouth field hockey player. “I love the sport, I love competing, I love my teammates,” says Hood. “We’re like a family. I definitely credit all my success to them.”