Aug 28, 2013
Rachael Mack, who is 16 goals from tying the program record for career scores, is featured Wednesday to talk about the upcoming season, which commences this weekend in Maine.
Q: This year you're not opening the season at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Does that provide a different feel going into the season?
A: It's going to be a change of pace compared to past years. We've been training really, really hard in preseason. It's going to be a great trip, both to take a momentary step back away from hockey and bond together as a team at the lake and also to show them what we're made of. I expect them both to be good games. UMass, in particular, is a strong team. The same with Maine. We went to Maine my freshman year, and that trip wasn't the best. So we want to turn that around and go up there and cause problems.
Q: How has preseason been going?
A: It's been good. The first few days are always hard on the body, but it's been really good. We've got a big squad. Injury-wise, people have been pretty strong, and we've been healthy. Last week was a tough week. We faced some adversity in practice and really came together as a team. We trained through the weekend. Our exhibition match against MSU didn't go the way we wanted, but it was a good training day and a good learning curve. Preseason has gone well. It's gotten us in good stead, and I think, as we approach this weekend's matches, we're going to be in good position.
Q: What is the most challenging aspect or adjustment at the beginning of a new season?
A: I think this season especially the most challenging thing is just having such a big group. We have nine new faces coming in, and it's always hard to figure out where everyone is going to play and how everything is going to fall into place. Getting everyone cohesive and bonded together can be a little difficult, but, all things considered, it's been pretty good this year. We've really tried to incorporate the freshmen into everything we do. It's been fun having such a big squad right off the bat.
Q: After only having one senior last season [in Liesl Morris], is it easier to lead with more seniors and upperclassmen this year?
A: It was difficult having just one senior last season. But we're able to come back this year with a lot more leaders on the team. My class is large, so we inevitably have more people helping drive us toward the same goal. They've experienced it and know what Michigan field hockey is all about. It's easy to teach the freshmen when you have such a big group behind you. That's something we're looking forward to putting into practice, having our leaders step up and really show the freshmen what it's all about.
Q: What's your attitude going into your last collegiate season?
A: I'm really excited. It's kind of bittersweet obviously. But my time here has been absolutely incredible. I'm ready and excited to make this year the best one yet. I want to keep scoring goals and keep doing what we do. I think it's going to be a really good year.