Field hockey starts first full academic year as club sport

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Field hockey starts first full academic year as club sport

Marquette's Field Hockey club held practice last march at Valley Fields. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Club Field Hockey.)

Marquette's Field Hockey club held practice last march at Valley Fields. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Club Field Hockey.)

Marquette's Field Hockey club held practice last march at Valley Fields. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Club Field Hockey.)

Marquette's Field Hockey club held practice last march at Valley Fields. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Club Field Hockey.)

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For Marquette students like Annie Stelter who played field hockey in high school, continuing to play in college was never a possibility.

However, in the last two years, students have begun to bring the sport to Marquette with the creation of the campus’ own club field hockey team.

Stelter, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and club president, said she noticed the lack of a team and high demand for one during her freshman year. She started the process of creating a club field hockey team the following summer with funds from Marquette and 4Winners Sports, a sports apparel company. 

“Coming into freshman year, I realized that a lot of girls that go here are from the Chicago suburbs and had played field hockey,” Stelter said.

Grace Goebbert, a junior in the College of Nursing and treasurer for the team, had an interest in the team after growing up playing the sport.

“I’ve been playing since fifth grade, so we were talking about a team freshman year, and we never really got it started,” Goebbert said. “(Stelter’s) the one who really spearheaded everything and reached out to get it all started. There’s a lot that goes into starting a new club.”

Schedules, funding, uniforms, equipment, tournaments and games were among the variables needed for the groundwork of creating a new club. Stelter said the team wasn’t able to take off quite like it had hoped in its first year.

“Last year, it was a club at the beginning, but we weren’t able to do anything until second semester so it was kind of unorganized,” Samantha Kuebler, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said. “But this year, we have an (executive board). We’re trying to create more structure and run better practices. So we’ve definitely pulled it together.”

Stelter said it took until March of 2019 to have the club fully established in the Marquette community.

However, the change for Stelter came this year as students arrived for fall semester.

“We really got things going right away. We have an E-board, we have a lot of people committed to the club now,” Stelter said. “We want to get as many girls as possible who are wanting to be committed so in the future with those new girls, they can lead the club and start making it more competitive against other teams in the Midwest and even the nation.”

Stelter said scheduling competitions has been one of the biggest tasks for starting a new club. Last year, the team had one scrimmage against Division III competitor Concordia University, but she has plans to travel a bit to compete against more teams.

“Finally, this semester we have official tournaments happening,” Stelter said.

According to Stelter, the team will travel to UW-Madison and Northwestern for their first two tournaments as a club.

Stelter said her goal for the year is not to be the best team but just to keep the players engaged and to enjoy field hockey with one another.

“One of the biggest goals is to also be known on campus,” Stelter said. “We had girls coming up to O-Fest and saying, ‘Woah, I didn’t know we had a club team here,’ and the reason why is we haven’t be able to advertise it.”

Marnie O’Malley, a sophomore in the College of Communication and vice president of social media and marketing for the club, also has a list of goals to accomplish for the 2019-’20 academic year.

“My goal is to make it fun and to grow the sport and the club size in general,” O’Malley said. “We want to keep adding more girls and making the sport as big as it can be at Marquette.”

For Riley Moore, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences and the club vice president, the key to adding popularity on campus is building the club members’ chemistry together.

“I really want us to bond. I want people to get close, and I want the team dynamic to flow easily,” Moore said. “We all come from different parts of the United States, so I think finding that middle ground where we can all play together and be successful is important for this team.”

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