Field hockey goalie Paton Rahn in action.

Hometown: Orange, Connecticut          Position: Goalkeeper
Stick: OBO Straight As Stick
College: Fairfield University
Instagram: @payton_hope_88

 PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS

What stick do you use and why do you choose it?
I use the OBO Straight As stick. This stick is lightweight and has a very great and balanced feel in my hand. It mimics a field player stick with a straight profile and I LOVE that. It is not too chunky and instead is very light and sleek. The stick has great control for dives and even deter rebounds for aerials.... plus, it comes with a very cushioned grip.

What legguards, kickers and helmet do you use and why do you choose them?
I use the OBO Robo High Rebound leg guards currently; I love these leg guards and they provide the best coverage and scrambling while being wide and providing good upright balance. These leg guards have been a staple in my collection since high school and once I tried them, I knew I couldn't go back. I love smothering with these pads. I would love to try the OBO Robo Plus leg guards as I am very impressed with the OBO Robo Plus Kickers. I use OBO Robo Plus Kickers due to the thick surface area on the inside of the foot. It provides great stability for clears and the toe shape of the kickers allow for rebounds or deflections to stay downwards. The kickers have changed the game of field hockey in my opinion and I highly recommend them. The thick foam on the inside is great for college hockey or other high levels of hockey.

How long have you been playing field hockey and what made you first want to start playing goalkeeper?
I have been playing field hockey since 7th grade, which is late for most people to start the sport. I remember knowing that since I was a goalie for lacrosse, I would offer myself up to be a goalie for field hockey. I used to think hockey and field hockey were similar in style but then I realized they were totally different sports. Field hockey was my sport to play when I could ice skate. Soon, I realized you weren't stuck to a crease and could dive and slide.... it became my favorite sport. Being a goalie was like a superpower to me. I remember being called a “transformer” by little kids at a tournament and that was so cool to me! I love the idea of being the last line of defense and the person who can control the defenders. It is so important for me to simply be unique, and goalkeeping has given me that opportunity to show my fun personality with crazy shorts and cool colored pads. It also has allowed me to grow in self-confidence and help me find my voice.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I am very superstitious. I like having the same headband for every game unless we lose in that headband design... then I must wash it and switch out the headband for the next game. The same goes for jersey colors-I cannot wear a jersey if we lost in it until it gets washed but if we had a good performance in that color then I will wear the jersey again (washed)! Before a game starts, I like to splash plastic neck guard with water. It helps me reset and get into the game mindset.

What's your go-to pre-game meal?
A grilled cheese and French fries with a blue Powerade. :)

What is your go-to game day hairstyle?
I like to spike my hair up a little bit with gel and it always looks so cool! I paired it with some aviator sunglasses too.

Favorite pump-up song(s) to listen to before a game?
Hail to the King- Avenged Sevenfold
Riot- Three Days Grace
House of the Rising Sun- The Animals

Describe your playing style in three words?
Positional, Aggressive, Scrambling

What do you like to do when you're not playing field hockey?
I love art! Outside of field hockey I am an artist- I enjoy sculpture, drawing, drafting and digital art. I have a minor in studio art here at Fairfield University and take my studies very seriously. I also enjoy spending time with my family, friends and pets. I have 3 cats, 1 leopard gecko and 3 frogs.

What's your favorite motivational quote?
“The principle is competing against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” —Steve Young

If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Keep at it, enjoy every minute of the sport. Keep smiling. Keep doing the extra work. Keep doing the extra practice. Enjoy the bruises, enjoy the burns and love every tournament. This is your home, and this is your peace. It all pays off in the end and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. All your experiences, friends and work will be worth it and you are THRIVING.

What is your favorite field hockey memory?
Beating Yale in shootouts my sophomore year. Winning in shootouts was my goal going into my freshman year as shootouts really are just you and a player. The thought of having my team trust me to save goals scared me but also made me so excited. I wanted to make sure I was ready. My family knew how important it was and I would practice shootouts every chance I got. When we went into shootouts against Yale it was an alumni game, I got to play for my team, and I got to play for the players of the past where ultimately, we were able to win. I remember running up to my mom right after the game and giving her the biggest hug ever, that is a memory I will never forget. Celebrating with my team made me so excited and happy with where I was.... I was beyond proud of my team and beyond excited that I had already reached one of my milestones in my first year of being our starter.

 

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