The Wolverine

Sept 2023

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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60 THE WOLVERINE ❱ SEPTEMBER 2023 BY ANTHONY BROOME I t was love at first sight for former field hockey star Maggie Bettez and the University of Michigan. The Acton, Mass., native played all kinds of sports growing up, but her mom played college field hockey, and she ultimately decided that she was destined to follow in those footsteps. Her mom never pressured her into trying it out, but their bond made an impression on her. "After I started field hockey, it was my mission to play in college and I didn't know where or what exactly I was look - ing for," Bettez said. "But through the recruiting process, I honestly thought I would stay closer to New England and then through different camps in the process, got introduced to Michigan. As soon as I stepped on campus, I was like, 'This is the best place on earth and how can I make this happen?' "It was pretty much a done deal on my end after the first time I set foot on cam - pus. I had a great experience, so defi- nitely a lifelong Wolverine." Bettez made 83 appearances in her Michigan career with 63 starts at back from 2015-18, tallying 1 goal and 6 assists while anchoring the U-M defense. In her final season in Ann Arbor, she started all 21 games in the backfield and was voted one of the team's three captains. The Wolverines went 14-7, winning a Big Ten regular-season championship and earning a spot in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. But even with the team success, her greatest honor was her captainship. It is something that Bettez still holds near and dear to her heart. "There's a great Tom Brady quote that despite being one of the greatest of all time, he still said that one of his proud - est achievements was being a captain at Michigan. I think that carries a lot of weight," Bettez said. "For me, it was an honor I took really seriously. "I learned early on that my leader - ship style isn't just about doing what you're supposed to be doing. It's also about leading by example and bringing people along with you to make them their best selves. You have to be a dif - ferent type of leader depending on what your teammates need. Sometimes what matters is just putting your head down and working hard. And then other times it's pulling a freshman aside and asking how you can help. I found my voice a little bit more. I think people could kind of see based on my work ethic and how I showed up every day and how we carried ourselves. "I take a lot of pride in that. So, it was a really special time for me and I was proud of what we were able to achieve all four years, but especially my senior year." There were plenty of unique oppor - tunities off the field at Michigan, too. Bettez was part of a group that went to Vietnam on a student-athlete volunteer trip in 2017. The trip stands out for some friendships made and experiences that an athletics donor made happen. "I had never traveled to Asia before," Bettez said. "There were seven or eight of us for a week on spring break. It was actually the coolest thing ever. We got to volunteer at different shelters that were affected by Agent Orange as a result of the Vietnam War. We got to visit these Buddhist temples and also get really close with the other peers that went on the trip. A couple of the soccer guys that went on that are still some of my best friends to this day. "I think it's a great example of how Michigan supports its student-athletes, and the opportunities that we get are truly second to none. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot." Bettez was also a member of the Stu - dent-Athlete Advisory Committee while at Michigan and served as a member of its executive board. "I ran the mental health subcommit - tee, which was really important to me," she said. "We ran different initiatives ❱  WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former Field Hockey Star Maggie Bettez Applies Lessons From Michigan Bettez played in 83 games with 63 starts at back for Michigan from 2015-18. She served as a team captain as a senior and helped the Wolverines win the Big Ten regular-season title and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN PHOTOGRAPHY

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