Maya Garcia has had an excellent career playing field hockey, but you might not know that because she’s been doing her thing out of town. A standout at Sturgis West, Maya helped the Navigators to earn a spot in this year’s Division 4 state tournament.
Maya is the daughter of Kara Galasso-Garci and Jose Garcia, and has one sibling, 11-year old Lyla. She said that biology is her favorite subject in school. Her most-prized possession is a stuffed monkey that her parents gave her when she was born that lives on her bed.
Maya works part-time as a nanny and babysitter, and also at her family’s restaurant, The Picnic Box. She said that “Five Feet Apart” is her favorite movie, “Riverdale” is her favorite TV show and Shawn Mendes is her favorite recording artist. Maya is also a vegetarian, and she said her favorite food is chocolate ice cream.
How did you get involved with field hockey? How much do you enjoy it? What is your role on the team?
First, I started with the sport of soccer. Many years on rec soccer ball and then for Falmouth Soccer Club for many years. I started with field hockey in 8th grade. I wanted to try something new and I knew a lot of people who enjoyed playing so I tried it. Freshman year was my first time playing on a real team, and I enjoyed every minute of it so I decided to start playing club field hockey for Allegiance Field Hockey Club in New Bedford. On the team I primarily play forward, but I can also play wherever I’m needed.
Your season just came to an end. How do you feel about how the season went for yourself, and the team?
This season was one of the best seasons my team has ever had. The team got along very well and worked very hard preparing for the season. As a team we did very well in our games. Individually I think I played very hard and to my best ability. I enjoyed being captain this year. I will miss a lot of my teammates
How do you think your game as a field hockey player has evolved over the years?
My game has definitely improved. I have increased my time practicing outside of practice and the normal season. I enjoy working out at the gym almost everyday.
You are a Falmouth kid, but decided to attend Sturgis West. What drove that choice for you, and looking back how happy are you about it?
I wanted to challenge myself academically and I wanted to make new friends. I’m happy about my choice because I have met so many new people and have learned so many new things. It really is a great school. It also made me become a lot more aware and street smart during freshman and sophomore year, having to ride public transportation to get to and from school.
Every sport requires a certain set of skills that the layman may not know about. What is something about field hockey that is difficult to do that most people would not think about?
It takes a lot of stickhandling skills because they are super important in games for getting around players and moving the ball up the field
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
That I’m wherever I’m needed to be and I’m always on the move, ready to get the ball. I have a determined drive.
Of all the games that you have ever played in is there one that stands out as the best? Why?
Probably our playoff game this year. We played against Southwich, under the light at Mashpee High, who were actually ranked below us. It really stood out because it showed how hard the team worked to get to that point and how well we played together. Unfortunately, we did not win. However, that’s okay, as a team we stuck it out and finished.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
I don’t have one specific highlight, but I think how much I improved my game play and skills from freshman year to now is most notable in my athletic career.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
All my teammates are the best, but if I had to pick one it would be Charlotte Hagerty. Charlotte is such an amazing player and person off the field. She is so positive and encouraging and I’m so happy that I got to play with her all of high school.
Is there a coach or mentor that has made a difference in your growth as a player, or as a person? What did they do to help you along the way?
My club coach, Maura O’Rourke, and my school coach Mrs. Lyons. They are both so encouraging and inspirational and have helped me improve my game.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
What it means to be a team player.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Why?
To be able to fly because it would be super cool, and it would get me places faster.
Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
My mom for being my inspiration and encouraging me to work hard, and to always try my best no matter what, and to always be strong, something her dad told her a lot.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
The biggest difference is my self esteem and confidence in academics, sports and myself. If I could tell myself one thing it would be to not care what other people have to say about what I’m doing and focus on me.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I was born in San Diego, California.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
Taylor Swift. She is such a positive influence and has such a great social media platform.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
Going to the beach all day with my friends and then going to dinner and then to sunset.
What are your post high school plans?
I want to attend a four-year university in the South to study pre-medicine. I also want to join a sorority and hopefully play club field hockey if the school I go to has a program.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want to be working in the medical field helping sick kids who suffer from life-threatening diseases.