San Benito High senior Ashley Maggiora signed a letter of intent to play field hockey at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Credit: contributed

San Benito High School senior Ashley Maggiora will continue her field hockey career at the collegiate level, but she’ll be doing it from all the way across the country.  

The school announced Nov. 30 that Maggiora signed a letter of intent to play at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, which is approximately 2,800 miles from home. She will major in engineering sciences with a minor in chemistry. 

The student-athlete standout, who also hopes to play lacrosse with the Vixens, said that signing with the NCAA Division III school is the culmination of years of hard work, particularly in high school.

“It certainly isn’t easy balancing academics and athletics,” said Maggiora. “I have had to make some sacrifices, but in my opinion, at least, it has been totally worth it because it has helped open so many doors for me.”

Sweet Briar has an ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) classification. Maggiora mentioned that the engineering classes range from eight to 10 students, allowing for a lot of hands-on education and engagement with the professors. 

She visited the campus during her sophomore year, instantly falling in love with the college.

“The campus is gorgeous and the entire college seems like a large family,” she said. “It had everything I was looking for, including my major, both of the sports I play: field hockey and lacrosse, and a small student body of only 300 total students to allow for more personalized learning.”

Maggiora’s goal is to eventually work as a NASA engineer to help put people back on the moon or maybe to Mars one day.

Maggiora knows she’ll miss her friends and family as she continues her academic and athletic career on the other side of the country. However, she noted that it’ll be easy to keep in contact with video calls and text messages.

Maggiora, who was the only girl on the lacrosse team at San Benito High, said her fondest memory as a Baler student-athlete was from a field hockey game against Gilroy High School last season. 

“During the game, the entire team played absolutely amazing and was completely in sync,” she said. “We ended up tying against one of the best teams in our league. It was one of the best games we ever played and I was so proud to be a Baler.”

Her advice for future student-athletes is that they should get involved with different activities on campus. She said she’s currently in two clubs–Robotics Club and French Club–plays on the field hockey team and can still maintain decent grades. 

“There are so many clubs, sports and activities available to you that there is definitely something for you,” she said. “All the teachers are so accommodating to extracurriculars, and it is totally possible to engage in anything and everything that interests you.”

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