Northampton Press

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Wiest Wiest

Megan Wiest's success came rather quickly

Thursday, July 23, 2015 by JEFF MOELLER Special to the Press in Sports

In terms of timing of an athletic high school path, Megan Wiest possibly had one of the smoothest throughways to success.

The Northampton High School field hockey standout recently ended her stellar career with several significant contributions into the program's record books. In turn, Wiest will begin another chapter of her career this fall when she will begin studies at Drexel University.

This past season, Wiest scored a team-high 26 goals and added seven assists, finishing second for most goals in a season. She also finished third overall in the program's annals with 45 career goals and set a new mark with six scores in one game.

Wiest also received first-team All-State honors and has maintained high academic honors, posting a 3.9 or better grade point average.

Wiest's outstanding senior season gained her the honor of being named the Northampton Press Female Athlete of the Year.

"She certainly made an impact," said Northampton head field hockey coach Kelly Backenstoe. "She was one of the great scorers in Northampton field hockey. Megan has worked hard for everything since she began in the program.

"She is an outstanding student-athlete as well. She really did everything she could to help her team."

Wiest has appreciated all of the accolades.

"It's great and I feel honored," said Wiest. "Any honor I have received is a sign that my work has paid off. My parents have been really proud of me, too. I am very grateful for everything this sport has helped me achieve as a player and a person."

The road to Wiest's success has been a relatively short one. Wiest only began playing field hockey in seventh grade, but she soon began playing the sport at the club level.

Wiest began playing club field hockey for Marojoka, a Lehigh Valley-based program under the direction of Marty Romeril.

"Coach Marty really helped me with my game," noted Wiest. "He (Romeril) has helped so many girls change the way they play. He helped me with my basic skills and made some key adjustments to my game. "

Wiest saw varsity playing time as a freshman and began to show promise as a player. After her freshman year, she switched her club team to the Philadelphia-area- based WC Eagles. It proved to be a boost to her career. She started her sophomore year.

"I felt pretty comfortable after my freshman year," she said. "At the start of my sophomore year, I moved to the midfield. I really felt good playing there and my game started to come together."

Over the next two years, Wiest became the complete player. Wiest not only played well, but she also participated on the Junior Olympic Team as well as the National Futures Tournament in the under-16 and under -19 categories.

"During the early part of her career, she definitely improved her game," added Backenstoe. "She developed into a standout player. She really loves the game. Megan has worked on all aspects of her game. Her improved stick play created more opportunities for her.

"She is a great competitor and she is constantly playing the game."

Wiest has spent the past few weeks on the Drexel campus, getting acclimated to her new surroundings. Wiest will pursue a degree in Nursing. She signed her commitment in November.

"It has been awesome," said Wiest about her initial Drexel experience. "The girls in the program have been great and they have made it so much more easier for me. We all get along really well. We have nine freshmen coming into the program and we're all getting to know each other.

"I am nervous about beginning classes, but I'm glad I am here with field hockey first. I think I can handle the transition to field hockey.

"I was worried about playing field hockey with my major, but Drexel showed me how I can do it."

Wiest also is grateful for the support of Backenstoe, who acted as an intermediary for her next step.

Former Bangor standout and Drexel assistant coach Susan Cuifo recruited Wiest and also coached her with the Junior Futures program. Cuifo recently was named the head coach at Stonehill College.

"She (Backenstoe) has always really supported me," said Wiest. "Drexel contacted her my junior year and she helped me along with the process. I remember that she told me right before a game that they (Drexel) were coming to watch me play. I was a little nervous, but I just went out and played."

"She (Wiest) wants to keep pushing forward," added Backenstoe. "Drexel is a great program. But college is a different game. Still, I believe she has been preparing physically and mentally.

"The way Megan works and approaches, the game, she will be ready for it."