Mae Hunt fancies herself an aggressive player on the pitch.
She has to be. After all, at 5-foot-2 “maybe,” it’s either hold her ground or end up being run over.
And she isn’t about to be pushed around.
“Physically, a lot of the time,I am smaller than every player on the other team,” Hunt said. “Last year against Lincoln-Sudbury, I was defending someone that was about a foot taller than me. Because of that, I have to be aggressive and quick on the field so I can take the ball away.”
That mind-set has been extremely productive for Hunt over the last four seasons.
Now a senior in her third varsity season, the diminutive Hunt has stepped up as one of the top defenders for the Andover High soccer team, which opened its season with a 2-0 victory over North Andover last Saturday.
“She is a hard-working type that has really come on strong for us this season,” Golden Warrior coach Meghan Matson said. “She is small, but she is feisty and physical. She will knock a player on the ground and will attack the ball when she needs to. She brings a lot to the team.”
While she is comfortable taking on larger opponents now, Hunt admits it was rather frightening when she first earned her starting position on the varsity team as a sophomore.
“I would definitely say I was intimidated back then facing bigger players who really knew what they were doing,” she said. “I was only about 5 feet and not nearly as strong. Now I am definitely more confident, and I try to make the game less intimidating to the younger players on my team. I want them to walk on the field and not feel nervous.”
As a senior, Hunt has taken on a crucial role on the field as a sweeper and quarterback of the defense.