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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette club field hockey blends community and competition

Photo by Mikey Severson
Kara Finneke (right) is the Marquette club field hockey president.

Through the rotating silver door, one is greeted by a popping sound in the ears upon entering the white bubble that encompasses Valley Fields’ artificial turf during the colder months in Milwaukee.

Marquette club field hockey cues up music via its pink JBL portable speaker, takes up their sticks and then starts practice.

The field hockey team has a mix of players that come with prior competitive experience, and individuals who are looking for something new and different to try.

“One of my favorite things is teaching people how to play,” club president Kara Finneke, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said. “I was really excited about having a handful of new players, so during practice, I try to spend individual time with new players, and other e-board members working with more experienced players.”

“We slowly integrated them together, and we’re in a good place where the new players can hang and play with the experienced players.” 

The team has taken steps off the field to ensure they gel together with post-practice team activities.

“Getting to and from practice is sometimes the most fun we have,” Audrey Shapiro, a senior in the College of Health Sciences, said. “I have one of the cars on campus, (and) I’ll pick up the other members, we drive to practice and after we’ll go get ice cream or something, so it definitely helps build the team camaraderie.” 

The club is forced to practice in the bubble during the winter, something club members have differing viewpoints on.

“Personally, I’m an outdoors person. I like the fall, it’s fun to play with the fall weather and it gets a bit chillier out,” Shapiro said. “I’m glad that we can play year-round with this bubble, because lots of schools have to stop playing when it gets too cold outside.”

The bubble does block out wind and outside noise, which Gwyn Johnson, a first-year in the College of Nursing, said she likes. But it means the team can’t look at the Milwaukee skyline during practice, something she doesn’t like.

“It’s a lot more fun in the bubble with less wind, and when we’re outside, the sunsets are really pretty, and we’ll take team photos with them,” Johnson said. 

With the club’s size growing year after year, the team has gotten more competitions on the fall and spring schedules compared to prior seasons.

“We’ve had more games per season the past few years as the team has been growing. We traveled a couple times last year to Madison and Notre Dame. This year, we had Madison come to us, one of the first times we hosted in a while,” Shapiro said. “The more people we have, the more fun the games are, more substitutions.

“We have a lot of new players this year, they’ve never picked up the stick before. It’s fun to see them grow and experience a real game setting.” 

Emily Horigan, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, loves the community aspect of field hockey the most. 

“I’ve gotten to meet some of my closest friends through field hockey. It’s fun being able to hang out on the weekends and with practice,” Horigan said.

All the team activities and bonding go a long way. Johnson said that being a part of Marquette field hockey made her social transition to the university much easier.

“I played in high school, I loved it so much there, found out they had a team here [didn’t know anybody], and I’m loving it,” Johnson said. “All the people are really nice. Every time I see them around campus, we meet up and just talk for so long.”

This article was written by Mikey Severson. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @MikeySeversonMU.

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About the Contributor
Mikey Severson
Mikey Severson, Sports Reporter
Mikey Severson is a first year from Saint Charles, Illinois studying journalism and minoring in sports management. He is a Sports Reporter for the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. At St. Charles East High School, he played football, tennis and managed the boys' basketball team. Outside of the Wire, he enjoys professional football, playing tennis, trying new foods and meeting new people. He is excited to cover Marquette athletics, go to games and interview players & coaches post-game.

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