Harwich Native Emma Mawn Is All Field Hockey, All The Time

by Brad Joyal
Harwich native Emma Mawn embraces the challenge of turning around Nichols College’s field hockey program. PHOTO COURTESY NICHOLS ATHLETICS Harwich native Emma Mawn embraces the challenge of turning around Nichols College’s field hockey program. PHOTO COURTESY NICHOLS ATHLETICS

Whether she’s on the sidelines or handling off-field responsibilities, there are few moments that Emma Mawn’s mind isn’t focused on field hockey.

“Right now, I’m pretty much all field hockey, all the time,” said Mawn.

The 23-year-old Harwich native is in her first year as coach at Nichols College in Dudley, taking over the program she helped coach last fall as a graduate assistant. Although she’s attending graduate school at Nichols where she’s pursuing her MBA, Mawn is also working tirelessly to help rebuild the school’s field hockey program.

“This biggest adjustment has been the administrative side of things,” said Mawn. “Now I’m in charge of the scheduling and team travel plans and all of the behind-the-scenes stuff that, as an assistant coach before, I didn’t really have to really worry about. And the big decisions obviously fall on me.”

Balancing responsibilities is nothing new for the 2018 Monomoy Regional High School graduate. While attending Stonehill College, Mawn played for the Skyhawks field hockey team while pursuing her passion of coaching.

Mawn began coaching for the Cape Cod Field Hockey Club in 2019 and even returned to her alma mater to coach Monomoy’s junior varsity team in 2020 when her college season was canceled due to COVID-19.

She prides herself on being a competitive coach who fosters an environment her players appreciate.

“I really like to be competitive, but I also really enjoy having fun,” said Mawn. “So, finding a good balance that we’re still practicing with a purpose but the athletes are still really enjoying their experience as well has definitely been my focus.”

The Bison finished their regular season with a 6-10 record before preparing for the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament, which began Tuesday.

Once the season is over, Mawn will shift her attention toward identifying and recruiting motivated players who want to be a part of what she’s building at Nichols. In addition, she’ll still continue to coach club field hockey, too.

“We’re rebuilding, so recruiting is going to be a huge part of my role,” Mawn said. “I’ll coach the club indoor season in the winter, which will be great, and then hopefully in the spring as well. Between coaching club and running our offseason and recruiting, I’m sure I’ll keep myself plenty busy.”

Mawn traces her success — and her coaching style — to the time she spent learning the sport. At Monomoy, she was coached by Cheryl Poore and Ron Bonollo. At Stonehill, she was led by Susan Ciufo and Annie Hansbury and an impactful group of assistants.

Beyond gaining perspective as a player, Mawn also learned a lot about coaching during her time with Cape Cod Field Hockey.

“They’ve helped me a lot with my confidence as a coach,” she said. “I spent my whole summer coaching — five days a week and sometimes double practices — and I’ve been able to kind of turn into a drill archive just because of the amount of time I was able to spend coaching in the month leading up to the season.”

Regardless of the path her career takes, Mawn feels as though she’ll always have a solid group of field hockey minds that she can lean on.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have incredible mentors through a lot of former coaches, the coaches at Cape Cod Field Hockey,” Mawn said. “That’s been really helpful for me. I never feel like I’m on my own if I have a question or if there’s a problem I come to that I’m not sure how to handle, I feel like I have a lot of people that I can reach out to that really care.”