Walsingham hires Tribe alumna to lead field hockey

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Emma Clifton was a standout player for the Tribe. Photo courtesy of Tribe Athletics
Emma Clifton was a standout player for the William & Mary. (Photo courtesy of Tribe Athletics)

Former William & Mary field hockey standout Emma Clifton will be taking the reins as Walsingham Academy’s new head field hockey coach, the school announced in a news release on Monday.

As a member of the Tribe’s field hockey program from 2011 to 2014, Clifton logged 57 points in 69 career games and holds a school record with 25 career assists. She was a four-year starter for William & Mary and earned Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie honors in 2011, as well as first-team All-Conference honors in 2014.

Most recently, Clifton spent a year teaching at Greenwood Elementary School in Newport News. With her combination of experience on and off the field, Walsingham Academy Athletic Director Neil Bailey decided Clifton was right for the job.

Emma Clifton holds the all-time assists record for Tribe field hockey. Photo courtesy of Tribe Athletics
Emma Clifton holds the all-time assists record for William & Mary field hockey. (Photo courtesy of Tribe Athletics)

“We are pleased to add a person of the caliber of Emma Clifton to our coaching staff,” he said in a news release. “Her knowledge of field hockey as well as the passion she has for the game is remarkable. She is going to be an incredible coach for us.”

The Trojans have previously had field hockey success, claiming three state championships with the most recent coming in 2007, but last season proved a difficult one for Walsingham.

After winning their season opener against St. Margaret’s, the Trojans went on an eight-game losing skid before playing to a 1-1 draw with St. Margaret’s. Walsingham finished its season with a final record of 2-14-1, losing six of its final seven games.

Clifton, who will be teaching in Walsingham Academy’s Lower School, has already started summer workouts with the Trojans, who return key players like second-team All-Conference goalkeeper Sydney Griffith and senior defender Shelby Julien.

“I am extremely pleased and excited with the ability that the girls have demonstrated,” said Clifton. “This season there is going to be a strong focus on core skills and foundations to prepare us for a challenging season. I am looking forward to working with a very positive and driven group of girls this upcoming year.”