If you’ve ever played a sport, you know the main goal is to win. You want your team to make it to the big playoff game and win the trophy that you know you deserve. Nothing feels better than when your hard work pays off. I’m on the Misericordia field hockey team and our motto is “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”. We’ve been practicing since August for our shot at the championship and all of our hard work paid off this fall when we won the MAC Freedom championship.
As any athlete knows, preseason is the worst. Three practices a day in the summer heat don’t make for happy players. With a little less than half of the team coming in as freshmen, we had a lot of work ahead of us. It took us a couple of games to get in the groove and learn each other’s quirks and habits. Going into the season, we were ranked 5th in the conference and on a losing streak. Once we got the ball rolling though, we seemed unstoppable. We finished the season 12-9 overall with only one loss in conference play.
As dedicated the hockey team was to the sport and winning, we still needed to focus on school. If we weren’t on the field practicing, we were in study hall together. We worked just as hard off the field as we did on the field. Our team has been nationally recognized for our academics.
There is no better feeling in the world than winning a title game after working so hard to get there. With two goals late in the game, we earned our place in the NCAA tournament and defeated Desales. Unfortunately, I was not on the field with my team when we won. I injured my knee over the summer and had to have knee surgery over fall break. A bad knee didn’t stop me from celebrating and running onto the field to meet my team when the game was over.
Since we won our conference, we got to extend our season further and play in the NCAA tournament. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget. The game fell on my birthday which made it feel even more special. We went down a day early to get a feel for the field that we would be playing on. Of course, we missed some school, but who would complain? The team spent the night in a hotel with an Italian dinner at Carrabba’s the night before.
The next day, coach treated us to the Turkey Hill Experience; a tour of the Turkey Hill factory. I ate more ice cream that day than I’d care to admit. Coach wanted us to stay excited for the big game so she kept us busy to keep us distracted. When game time did roll around, we were all pumped and ready to give it our all.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We didn’t win our final game, kicking us out of the tournament early on. We had an amazing run and were all upset to see it come to a close. It was an amazing experience to watch the team grow and have all of their hard work pay off.
- Rachel Miroslaw '21, Speech-Language Pathology. Rachel is from Tunkhannock, PA, plays field hockey, and enjoys reading and writing
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