SOUTH PARIS – The moment to step up and take control has arrived for Teira Durgin.

Her field hockey teammates at Oxford Hills have embraced the senior midfielder’s increased role. Durgin understands her responsibilities and has eagerly accepted the long-awaited assignment.

“There is some added pressure,” Durgin said. “Last year, we had a good fast team, and we played together for two years, so everyone knew what everyone was going to do. So this year, I have to step up more then I did last year. But it is fine. We just have to make sure we talk when we are on the field.”

Durgin admits she has placed pressure on herself to be a good leader.

Durgin has big shoes to fill. The Vikings graduated 12 seniors off a team that reached their first-ever Eastern regional final.

“Teira has always been the leader in her class,” Oxford Hills coach Cindy Goddard said. “However, she happened to follow a strong class of athletes where they had their own leaders. Teira understands the chain of command. She let the seniors lead, and she was a good support player. Now she knows it is her turn, and she is ready.”

The Vikings have a young group returning, so Durgin’s leadership, along with the other seniors – Kaitlin Crockett (MF), Hannah Strauss (F), Kelly McDougal (S) – will be needed for the team to be successful. Junior goalie Aleksys Pike is the other returnee.

“I would have to say I do thrive on pressure,” Durgin said. “It gets me going, and when I get going, I work hard and the intensity is up. What makes me tick is when we all get going, because then it is like we are going to do good.”

Durgin has the credentials after being named to the second team of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference as a sophomore and junior. Opposing teams show respect by double-teaming Durgin, especially when the Vikings advance the ball into the offensive circle. She isn’t left open very much, but this provides added incentive to create opportunities for teammates.

She was the team’s second leading scorer last year with three goals and five assists behind All-State forward Tia Pratt.

“Tiera is going to play both midfield and forward,” Goddard said. “I am hoping to get her more in the center of the midfield, but if we need more punch on the front line, she is the go-to girl.”

Durgin said playing in the midfield allows her to see a lot more area, and it helps knowing the forward line is always there to accept a pass.

The well-rounded player is utilized as the flyer on defensive corners because of her speed and fearlessness. They rely on her stick ability on during offensive corners.

“She is fast, athletic and is blessed with natural ability,” Goddard said.

Durgin is looking to going into physical education in college, but is undecided which school yet.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.