This past season was a special one for Fairport’s field hockey team as they finally beat their rival, Webster-Thomas, in the sectional finals after losing to them two years in a row.
One reason for their success: goalie Sara Cook or ‘Cookie Monster’ as she’s known on the team. Although she was just a sophomore, Cook had a phenomenal season, achieving personal bests of a .68 goals against average and a .89 save percentage and attracting the attention of college coaches.
She has already begun to make Fairport history, becoming the first goalie to be named to varsity as a freshman and only one of two players ever at Fairport to be brought up in her freshman year.
“It was nice winning sectionals,” Cook said. “It was kind of like getting the monkey off our back because we lost to Thomas the past few years. And our team got along really well, so it was nice to accomplish our goal as a team. They’re my family, and we all just really loved each other last year.”
Fairport coach Sharon Sparling attributes Cook’s success to her commitment.
“She’s totally involved in field hockey and being a goalie,” Sparling said. “The biggest asset she has is dedication. As a seventh grader, she was my goalie and she has continued to improve the whole time.”
Pamela Morris Keenan, the second Fairport coach, echoes Sparling’s sentiment on the talented netminder.
“Sara is a dedicated, driven player with a great deal of skill,” Keenan said.
Another aspect of her game that has helped Cook is the aggressiveness she has from her days as an ice hockey player.
“I’m so much more aggressive in field hockey because of ice hockey, and it made me a better overall athlete because it makes you more aggressive and teaches you to work with people, and I’m more competitive,” Cook said.
“You have to be truly athletic to ice skate and play a game at the same time, plus the fact that because she has to be aggressive on the ice, I think it’s added to her aggressiveness as a field hockey player,” she said.
In addition to lending some aggressiveness to her field hockey game, ice hockey is also the reason Cook picked up a field hockey stick in the first place. In seventh grade, Cook had an ice hockey practice at Village Sports while there was a field hockey game playing.
“My dad and I watched it, and I thought it was the coolest sport ever, so I wanted to play it,” Cook said.
Now that Cook has won a sectional title, she hopes to win a state championship and be recruited to play Division I.
Page 2 of 2 - “I would really like to just continue playing in college, and I like high-end competitive play so I feel like Division I would be a better fit for me than Division III.”
She has the full support of her coaches behind her who believe she can play Division I.
“She continues to improve,” Sparling said. “She already has some colleges looking at her and she keeps getting better as a goalie.”
The name Sara Cook is one we’ll be hearing a lot of in the future.