‘Not a Dream’

Q&A With Maddie Lilliock
By Lloyd Reigel

Maddie Lilliock makes a save in a game against Penn State 
Photo: Temple University. Maddie Lilliock makes a save in a game against Penn State Photo: Temple University. If Connor Buggy’s senior year at Lower Dauphin, in which he won a state championship in soccer and played in a state final in baseball, was special, then Maddie Lilliock’s career at LD should be viewed in the same light.

A 2016 LD grad, Lilliock won back-to-back state championships in field hockey and played in the softball state final the spring following her second field hockey title. She won District 3 championships in both sports and was named All-State in both.

As a second baseman in softball, she surpassed 100 hits, 100 RBIs and 100 runs during her four-year career. As a goalie, she backstopped some of the top field hockey teams in LD history. Over her four-year career, her field hockey and softball teams were a combined 178-31-2.

“I was fortunate to have played with some great athletes and teams at LD,” she said.

Maddie Lilliock 
Photo: Temple University. Maddie Lilliock Photo: Temple University. Among her LD softball teammates were Maddie Kotchey (Liberty), Kaylee Stoner (Mount St, Mary’s), Kayla Holl (West Chester) and Ava Bottiglia (Kutztown).

She’s entering her junior season as goalie for the Temple University field hockey team, and while the Owls have struggled on the field at times against top competition, her performances in goal and in the classroom have remained strong.

She started every game as a freshman and sophomore before suffering a concussion last season. She’s consistently kept the Owls in every game by making acrobatic saves. She’s tied her career high of 11 saves in a game six times, including against Penn State and former LD teammate Gini Bramley. She’s also faced former LD teammate Abby Julius (Liberty) each season in Big East play.

She’s earned numerous academic honors from both the Big East and Temple for carrying a GPA of 3.5 or above.

“Our team has not been as successful on the field as we would like,” she said. “It’s still a great challenge and gives us opportunities to grow and learn from each and every game. Overall, being able to find balance between school, field hockey and my social life makes being a Division I student-athlete all the more rewarding.”

Following is a Q and A with one of LD’s top alums:

The Sun: What years were you in when you won state championships in field hockey and played in the softball state final for LD?

Lilliock: As a freshman in high school, I was blessed to begin my goalkeeping career after Coach (Linda) Kreiser said she saw potential in me. She asked me to give it a try. I went on to be a state champion that fall of 2012 during my first season as a goalkeeper.

My sophomore year, we became back-to-back state champions in field hockey in 2013 and was a state finalist in the spring of 2014 with the softball team. I was certainly one lucky girl to have been able to play in not one, but two state championships in one school year.

The Sun: What are your fondest memories of those state finals?

Lilliock: I get chills thinking about how great of a ride it was to reach three state finals during my high school career. The road to a state final is where you see the belief in your teammates grow and all the hard work your team has put in over the long haul pays off.

It is such a satisfying feeling and makes me smile so wide thinking about all the memories I have from winning multiple state championships and district championships. My fondest memory from going to the two state finals in field hockey definitely has to be waking up those mornings and realizing it was actually a reality and not a dream.

The celebrations that followed are things I will always remember, like parading through Hummelstown on top of firetrucks with my teammates and my younger sister, McKenzy, and celebrating with my family afterwards.

Wearing our gold medals to school the following Monday both years will also stick in my mind when thinking back to how proud we all were as well as the school district and the support we got from them during our deep runs.

I also will never forget how calm Coach Kreiser was during those state runs as our coach. Which reminds me of how blessed I really am to have been coached by such an incredible woman and legend like her.

Going to the state final in softball felt like a dream and getting to play at Penn State on live television was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I remember watching the game afterwards and being nothing but proud of my teammates for working so hard and having such an incredible season.

I also remember leading off the game with a hit by pitch and stealing second with a head-first dive that ended up being the headline photo of the newspaper recapping the state final.

My fondest memory has to be hugging my dad in the stands following the game. He was always my No. 1 fan ever since I started softball at a young age. He inspired me to be successful and sharing a heartfelt hug with him following the softball state final where he told me how proud he was of me and to wear nothing but a smile on my face is something I will always remember.

The Sun: How is your career at Temple going?

Lilliock: My academic and athletic careers at Temple and my college experience overall has been so rewarding and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The tourism and hospitality management program that Temple offers for me academically is top notch and is definitely preparing me for the real world, which makes me so excited for the future.

Temple field hockey has done so well in the classroom, finishing with a very high team grade point average each year among other Division I schools in the nation. Athletically, I have seen great growth in my goalkeeping from being challenged by some of the top players and teams in the nation.

The Sun: How did you spend your summer?

Lilliock: I spent this summer fulfilling my junior internship for Temple with Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation at a beautiful luxury resort in Orlando, Florida. This internship has allowed me to grow by leaps and bounds as a professional in the hospitality industry and allowed me to learn more about myself and my career interests.

Additionally, I have been recovering from a concussion sustained during my sophomore season, so I have also been rehabbing in preparation for the coming season.

The Sun: What are your future plans?

Lilliock: My plans after graduation are not set in stone yet as I still have two more years left, but I would love to do the management development program that Marriott Vacations Worldwide has to offer for college graduates that can directly place me into a management role within the company.

I would also consider coaching either field hockey or softball to give back to the two sports that made me into the woman I am today, and I definitely would love to play either sport in the future if an opportunity would present itself.

The Sun: What have been the highlights of your playing career at Temple?

Lilliock: Starting my first game as a freshman. After graduating from LD, I bypassed senior week and celebrating with my friends to get ready for Temple. Then when I got to school, I worked as hard as I could. Getting the start my first game against Penn State on our new field was very rewarding. I played against Gini (Bramley) and Delaney Higgins, who were teammates of mine at LD. And Penn State had Katie Dembrowski of Palmyra and Jenny Rizzo of Hershey. We also beat Old Dominion my freshman year. They were ranked No. 13 in the country and had Erin Huffman of Palmyra. We beat them 2-1 in overtime.

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