“Hockey players with goals succeed because they know where they’re going,” says first year defender, Yasaman Babamohammadi.
The Mount St. Mary’s University Club Field Hockey team, plays and competes by these words. The team of 15 are led by President, Molly Ousborne (’19) and advisor, Sister Mary Kate Birge.
Ousborne says that the club “is a great way to meet new people!”
Though, surprisingly, the team’s focus is not set on winning every season, but on improving their gameplay and individual skills, while also having fun.
“They relish a good practice. They are lovers of the sport and that’s why they do it,” Birge commented.
Birge, both a former player and coach, brings experience and wisdom to the club. Her love of the sport and commitment to cheering on the students, led to her being asked to advise the club.
“This fall during family weekend, I was kind of just sitting in the stands, chatting with moms [and was asked] ‘Why don’t you coach!?’ Then maybe Monday or Wednesday morning… a student I had then on the field hockey team, kind of sidled up to me and said, ‘Sister, the field hockey team asked me if I would ask you to be our coach.’”
Birge has been described by the club, as a “good motivator [who] keeps us on task.”
Senior forward, Paige Spangler pointed out that, “we’ve helped her learn too. The first practice, she was teaching us to do things that were illegal, so I think we’re both learning.”
However, just like any sport, it is not always easy to balance out your personal life and your athletic commitments. Every player in the club must buy their own equipment, which varies depending on whether the equipment is being used indoors or outdoors. This is also in addition to paying the Mount St. Mary’s Recreational Club fee.
The players who own cars, act as the transportation leaders and help take the team to each game. The team could travel as short as 60 minutes away from the school or as far as West Virginia. The small size of the club also affects what playing styles the Mount can utilize in a game.
They explained how two years ago, one of their players got injured in a game with Pennsylvania State University and they only had one available substitution, compared to their opponents 23 available substitutions.
“The games against bigger teams, feel like a real challenge because we’re on the field for most of the game where as [our opponents are] on the field for, like, half the game, so we’re really putting in extra effort, and really putting in more strength and more heart,” Senior goalkeeper Zach Wraase commented.
The club also aims to diversify each player’s field hockey knowledge. All the players learn to play different positions on the team, so that when a member cannot make it to practice or to a game, someone else can fill their shoes.
This has helped the players clinch victory numerous times, like when they defeated both the Stevenson University Mustangs and the recreational team, Black Dragons, back in November of 2016.
“We’re here to build each other up as a team. Our main goal is to have fun, but we really just want to create a solid team and family that we can depend on during the games,” Wraase added.
Junior midfield, Ashley Singer, explained, “As a transfer student, I joined the team and met a lot of great people. I met my future roommate…and I think [that] is a really good experience, just to like even meet new people.”
Photo courtesy of Jeff Ousborne.