Senior Reflection: Field Hockey's and Softball's Ashley Tango

Senior Reflection: Field Hockey's and Softball's Ashley Tango

My athletics career as a two-sport student-athlete at Babson has been unconventional, but it is what made it so special to me. Not many people know this, but I originally only planned to play softball at Babson. The head softball coach, Dave Canan, offered up the opportunity of trying out for the field hockey team. I was extremely nervous to try out, thinking there was no way I would make the team, but I worked out hard the summer before my freshman year. Stepping out of my comfort zone and trying out for the field hockey team was one of the best decisions I have made in my life.

My four years at Babson have allowed me to continue my love for softball while also discovering a love and passion for the sport of field hockey. Babson has brought me not one but two groups of lifelong friends, incredible coaching staffs, and experiences that have shaped me to who I am today.

My parents taught me when I was young to shoot for the moon, and if I failed, I would land on the stars. This is something I have kept in the forefront of my mind throughout my four years. As a student-athlete, I learned to always strive for more for my teammates, my coaches, my program, my school, and for myself. Whether that meant taking one more rep in the weight room, doing one more sprint on the track, or hitting one extra ball in batting practice. This work ethic and drive is something that I will carry over into my career for the rest of my life.

My four years as a two-sport athlete were littered with accolades, championships, wins and losses, but to me the awards and accolades are not how I measure success. Success to me was creating the memories that will last forever. These are undeniably some of the greatest feelings in the world. Hugging your teammates after scoring a winning goal to advance to the NCAA Final Four. Feeling the adrenaline in a close game. Making a diving play at third base to keep a winning run from scoring. Cheering your heart out when a teammate hits a grand slam in the NEWMAC finals. Holding the NEWMAC trophy high in the air with the pride that you and your team did it. These are the moments that I played for and the memories that I will cherish forever.

I was lucky enough to continue my field hockey career after my final game this fall. The most life-changing experience I have encountered in my four years was receiving an invitation to try out for the USA field hockey national team. As a Division III athlete, I felt honored to receive the opportunity to represent an entire division with a chance to play at the highest level of field hockey. My experience training for the tryout reiterated the lessons that both my parents and my time as an athlete at Babson taught me. I learned that I could do anything in life as long as I want it bad enough, work harder than those better than me, and surround myself with a support system that wants to see me succeed.

To every coach, player, and trainer that has helped me along the way, thank you for the past four years.