Captain’s Corner: Molly Belk ’16

Molly Belk '16
Molly Belk ’16

Molly Belk ’16

Women’s lacrosse

Charlotte, N. C.

Residence: Hoxsey Street

How did you intially get into playing lacrosse?

I started when I was in elementary school, probably when I was in a league in my hometown. A lot of my friends were doing it, so I joined.

What was your high school lacrosse experience like?

In high school, I played at a boarding school and it was really fun to be part of a team. I played three sports there. We were a pretty successful team, and my coach was one of my good friends. She was a dorm parent and she was younger, so it was really fun to be close with my coach and I was best friends with my teammates. It was a great experience.

What led you to Williams?

I’d heard about it because my dad and my sister are alumni. I knew it was in the mountains, which is something I love. The headmaster of my boarding school went to Williams and I had heard it was a really good small school and I liked that feel because I think that it builds a great community. You become really close with the teachers. And I was interested in playing sports, but I also wanted a life outside of sports.

What have been some of your favorite experiences here on the women’s lacrosse team?

My favorite experiences have definitely been winning really exciting tough games. That’s a point which really shows how all the hard training and practice pays off. And our pre-game dance parties in the locker room and our end-of-the-year celebration of the season, where we take a day off and do relay races and slip-and-slides together.

So what are the dance parties like? Are those one of your favorite team traditions?

Those are very fun. Everyone gets really excited and goofy before the games, just to let loose a little bit. It’s rare to have a lot of moments like that at Williams, so that’s pretty special. And we have a tradition at the end of the year called Stoop Day where we celebrate the end of the season. We have a barbecue, slip-and-slide and we all jump in the Green River, just a variety of things.

What’s it like being a captain?

In the fall, it was great. I was about to do a second sport, because in my sophomore year I ran cross-country, and at first, I was pretty nervous. I wasn’t going to be able to lead, really, or be a captain if I did a second sport. So I dropped that and I guess the hardest parts were leading all the practices for offseason and trying to make sure everyone feels really welcome and comfortable on the team, because that’s when they’ll play their best.

How did you get into playing a defensive position?

I used to play midfield. Most good high school players play midfield just because they’re versatile players, but I got into playing defense because sophomore year [of the College], there was a starting position open, and I went to my coach and I asked her what I could work on. She likes my speed and I’m really aggressive. My coach always says that I’m like a dog after a ball. She decided to put me on defense, and I’ve loved it ever since. You’re not the focus of all the spectators, yet you get to do all the nitty-gritty work of getting the ball back and protecting the goal. It’s a really fun position.

Do any really memorable games stand out from the first three years of your career?

Last year, we played in the NESCAC tournament and our first game was against Trinity. We were the bottom seed, and they were the top seed. At halftime, we were up by four goals, and we were playing really well against them. We were up for the first 45 minutes against them, and we ended up losing by one goal. I guess it was exciting to be playing so well against a team that was supposedly the best in the NESCAC. It was cool to kind of shock them, to prove to ourselves that we had such a good season. It was such an exciting game, and it showed that you don’t have to win to be proud of what you achieved.

What are some of your academic interests here on campus?

I’m a history major. I concentrated in Latin American studies, so I studied abroad in Chile. I’ve taken a good amount of Spanish classes here, and I really like taking art classes – painting, drawing and art history – as well. Also, during Winter Study, I’ve taken a lot of farm classes that are often off-campus.

What was it like to live abroad in Chile for a semester?

It was amazing! Chile is a really expansive country geographically. It has the driest desert in the world in the North and Patagonia in the South. I lived in this town on the coast called Valparaiso. It’s built on a hill, kind of like San Francisco, but a bit grungier I’d say. It’s an old port; it used to be the main port there. It ended up being the Las Vegas of the country. I lived with a host family, and I also did a really cool immersion program called School for International Training (SIT) and I ended up working with a non-profit and learned how to surf. All in all, it was an amazing experience.

Do you love being in the mountains here? Any favorite hikes?

I love being in the Berkshires. I really like going up to Petersburg Pass, and either hiking or running along the Taconic Crest Trail. It’s beautiful. I like going up to the Dome or the Snow Hole. I just went up to the Falls this year, and they were incredibly beautiful at the peak of fall.

What is your favorite season in the Berkshires?

Fall. I thought lacrosse was a spring sport but then I came to Massachusetts and I realized that it’s a half-winter sport. The fall is just so beautiful.

Do you have a certain go-to snack bar order?

Definitely the falafel and pita bread. I’ve mastered the falafel and side salad.

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