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Athlete Worth Watching: Maddie Woody

May 19, 2015 01:27PM ● By Cate Reynolds
by Tom Worgo

Annapolis High School // Field Hockey and Lacrosse

Two-sport Annapolis High School standout Maddie Woody won’t be playing any sports right away in college. Woody is certainly good enough at lacrosse and field hockey to merit a serious look by any number of college programs. However, she’s decided to focus mainly on engineering at Penn State University. She’ll consider playing club lacrosse once she starts school in the fall. Until then, her specialty is Aerospace Engineering.

She’s winding down a two-year internship at Northrop Grumman, where the 17-year-old is tackling projects that few high school students get the opportunity to take on. “The purpose of the internship is to invent something over the course of two years,” Woody explains. “So last year, I invented a solar power computer charger. I finished it, so this year I am designing wings for an airplane and testing them in a wind tunnel.”

Considering her inventiveness, it’s no surprise that she carries a 4.32 grade point average. Woody also co-captains both the field hockey and lacrosse teams and started Annapolis’ Frisbee Club and Adventure Club, which organizes hikes and whitewater rafting and camping trips.

“I am excited about her future,” Annapolis field hockey coach Angela Carpita says. “She has that very mature, level head that maybe I haven’t ever seen. She is the complete package, but what’s most important is that she would never come across as full of herself. She is always going to present herself as humble and low key.”

She also played field hockey with unusual intensity. “I never stopped,” Woody says. “No matter what happened. If I fell or I was tired, my legs just never stopped moving.”

Woody hated to lose the battle with an opponent over a loose ball. “I am known for muscling my way out and forcing my way into places,” she says. “I am very aggressive. I wanted to be very physical even though it’s not supposed to be a contact sport.” 

Carpita said 5-foot-5 Woody could easily have played college field hockey. The senior and four-year varsity player led Annapolis in goals last fall with nine and earned All-County and team MVP honors. “She has qualities that you can’t coach,” Carpita says. “She has great drive, and when people are thinking about shooting, she already had done it.” 

Carpita valued Woody for her leadership skills as much as for her ability to score goals. “She is a leader by example,” the coach says. “She had a lot of spirit. She had the demeanor and attitude of a winner. The leadership style that is most important is to be someone that inspires others to emulate them, and that’s what she does.”

Lacrosse is Woody’s favorite and best sport. She’s played it for 12 years. The midfielder honed her skills over the years competing for the Chesapeake Club Lacrosse and St. Mary’s Club lacrosse programs. At Annapolis, Woody started part-time as a sophomore and full-time last spring. She finished fourth on the team with 20 goals in 2014 and had a memorable performance in a rout of Patterson Mill, scoring five times.

“She is very quick and that’s what makes her good on attack,” Annapolis lacrosse coach David Gehrdes says. “She has a very hard shot and sees the field well. She also does a good job defensively.”

Woody was named a co-captain this spring because Gehrdes had so much confidence in her. “She has been a pleasure to coach because she is extremely hard working,” he says. “She is always trying to improve as far as lacrosse is concerned.”

Woody also ran varsity track for two years in the winter before she joined the swimming team for her junior year. She decided to take up unified bowling as a senior. The team has students with disabilities. “Bowling gave me a whole new appreciation for everything I have,” Woody says. “The kids just had so much fun that it was so hard not to enjoy. I just loved it.”