The Wolverine

December 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 77 of 91

OLYMPIC SPORTS PROFILES All-American Rachael Mack Adjusts To Life Overseas level student-athlete is not easy, and the obstacles are even greater when accli- mating oneself to an entirely different country and culture. This is a challenge Michigan field Adjusting to the rigors of life as a high- hockey junior forward Rachael Mack has not only welcomed, but also thrived in facing head on. The transition has not always been easy, but it was one she desired even before picking up a field hockey stick for the first time as a young- ster in the small town of Bromsgrove, England. "Ever since I was 5 or 6, I knew that I wanted to go to America for university," Mack said. "I knew it would be an adjust- ment, but as I looked around at different colleges, I began to feel really comfort- able with Michigan. "I loved the school, I loved the coaching staff, and I loved the academic side of it. It all reeled me in. "I visited Ann Arbor with my mom during the summer before my fresh- man year in school, and the first time I stepped on campus everything was so great. I was impressed and was almost immediately sold. I pretty much decided that I wanted to spend the next four years of my life here, and it really wasn't an overly hard decision for me. may have never happened if U-M assis- tant coach Ryan Langford and his wife, Maren, had not made the trek across the Atlantic to visit close friends who re- sided in England. While there, Langford grasped the opportunity to pay a visit to the up-and-coming prospect while she competed in a high-profile national tournament. The extra effort by the coaching staff But this love-at-first-sight encounter " was not lost on Mack, who possesses a multitude of national experience, includ- ing a national championship as a part of the Midlands Under-18 team in 2010 and a bronze medal at the Eurohockey Youth Nations Championships as a member of England's Under-18 squad in 2009. "It really opened my eyes about the school and the staff," Mack said of Lang- ford's visit. "For them to come out and visit with me, it was a huge catalyst in me wanting to find out more about the school, the program, and where it could take me in the future. reciprocal. Since Mack's arrival, the Wolverines have amassed a 45-21 re- cord, captured two Big Ten titles and Thus far, the relationship has been " 78 THE WOLVERINE DECEMBER 2012 Mack, who hails from Bromsgrove, England, has amassed 52 goals and 118 points during her first three years at Michigan. reached the NCAA Tournament three times. The ultra-talented striker has stock- PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS piled 52 goals and 118 points during her career, has led Michigan in both catego- ries in each of her three seasons and was selected a team captain in 2012. She has been named an All-Big Ten first-team performer twice and was the Big Ten Tournament's Most Valuable Player as a freshman in 2010. She is also a three- time All-American, most recently earning a second-team selection in 2012. "I was really, really happy to be named defense and on the attack. We work to- gether and, luckily, I am the one that gets to put the goals in. "The individual honors are nice, but it is about the team. We were very young this season and made some mistakes, but we are going to learn from them and use that when we train in the offseason. We want to win the Big Ten championship next year, make it to the Sweet 16, the Elite Eight, and maybe even the Final Four. Whether or not Mack realizes her ulti- " an All-American again," she said. "It is something I aim for every year as an in- dividual, and it is gratifying when all of the hard work pays off. "Next year as a senior, in my final year, to get first-team All American honors would be an amazing way to end it. Still, the All-American Brit fully realizes " that she could not accomplish her indi- vidual aspirations without the help of her teammates, and it is the success of the squad as a whole that means the most. "Everything starts with my teammates, I just put the ball into the back of the net, " Mack said. "They are great on both mate individual goal of garnering first- team All-America accolades or the lofty team goal of reaching the pinnacle of NCAA field hockey, her experience in Ann Arbor will be one she will remember and cherish for a lifetime. "Everything here is so different, but in a good way," she said. "I came from such a small town and coming here has taught me a lot, there is so much more going on, so much to learn. "It is a different kind of atmosphere, and I really enjoy it. It has been amazing to experience this place and learn the American culture through my friends, teammates and surroundings. "I wouldn't trade it for the world. — Kevin Minor "

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - December 2012