Ally Parker signs with Providence College
ORANGE — Mahar field hockey standout Ally Parker made her commitment to Providence College official with the signing of her National Letter of Intent to play field hockey at the school, this morning.
Parker announced her intentions to accept a scholarship offer from the Friars late this summer and inked the pact earlier today. Parker was joined by family, coaches and school administration for the signing.
“I’m a little nervous, but excited for this new experience,” said Parker. “It’s not often that people do Division I around here, so I’m excited for it. I never pictured having Division I offers. It’s kind of crazy (to think about), but it’s a great opportunity.”
Parker recently completed her senior campaign with the Senators as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She has amassed 101 goals and 39 assists during her tenure. Still, she leaves with a sour taste in her mouth after Mahar missed the tournament this fall.
“This year was rough because a lot of our crossover games were Division I,” said Parker. “I’m a little bitter about that because I think we would have gone far in the tournament and potentially won WMass.”
Parker’s field hockey career began in seventh grade and she quickly moved “all-in” on the sport.
“Field hockey is different (than other sports) and I liked doing it,” said Parker. “I made a lot of friends doing it and I found a love for field hockey.”
Through her club team, Parker has made trips to Florida and California and will take off for Virginia after Thanksgiving.
“Those are the big recruiting tournaments that helped me be able to talk to college coaches and see a new perspective of field hockey,” said Parker.
Parker first became associated with the Friars during a camp at the school prior to her sophomore year, but it was a year later that the school began to express interest. She gave them a verbal commitment this summer.
In addition to her field hockey career, Parker has excelled on the basketball court and on the track and field team. She enters her senior campaign with an outside chance at reaching 1,000 career points. She’s currently 341 points away and will likely need to shoulder the burden with teammates Cassie Verheyen and Kenzie Tenney expected to miss the season due to injury.
“My field hockey coach wants me to stay active and play three sports,” said Parker. “It’s going to be an interesting year without (Verheyen and Tenney). They were a big help to us during summer league.”
Parker was pole vault champion during the spring of her sophomore season, but opted to rest last year. She plans to return to track this year, but won’t pole vault in an effort to stay healthy.
“I’m going to veer away from pole vault this year,” said Parker. “I’ll focus more on the running events because they aren’t as hard on my body.”
Throughout her journey, Parker has received plenty of support from her family — especially her parents, Scott and Lisa.
“My family has provided a great support system,” said Parker. “They’ve always pushed me to go the extra mile. They’ve always made sure to give me the opportunities I need. It’s been a lot of work, but my parents have definitely been a big part in it.”
Parker urged the younger athletes of the area to push themselves in an effort to reach their goals.
“Set goals and go for them,” said Parker. “Take every opportunity you have.”