Sports Commentary: "The Magic of Michaela"

UD FH vs Kent state
Andrew Kuczmarski/THE REVIEW
Junior midfielder Michaela Patzner moves the ball during the loss against Kent State. Patzner had 12 goals this season.

BY
MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR

In 2012, having been thrust into a leadership role within the sports department at The Review, I entered a foreign world. I didn’t know what to do, I knew but four people on the team and none of the rules of the game.

Three seasons later, I’ve come to know not just the rules, but also the entire team. However, there is one person who still stands out for fans and press alike, and that’s junior midfielder Michaela Patzner. Michaela’s ability is such that it is you will not find a piece with no mention of her in it.

As one reads my profile of her this week, they will see not just the player, but the person as well. When I went to interview her for the piece, I didn’t have questions specifically written for her—just topics that I felt would make the profile more interesting. I had no idea if the topics would work well, as this was a new technique I was trying out.

Luckily, it worked, and to good effect. She was generous with her time and during the course of our 20-minute plus conversation, I began to understand more about someone who I thought I knew a lot about already.

I always assumed that when she used her emotions, it was always to her benefit. However, in speaking to her, I found that she had the same issue with her emotions that we all do from time to time—that it doesn’t always benefit us like we think it will.

She is also very honest in her interviews, something that makes my life a little bit easier when it comes time to pen one of the game reports. When I asked about her honesty, I expected a guarded answer, but she surprised me in her openness about the subject. There’s no real “spin,” no cookie-cutter answer from Michaela in her comments, which is refreshing coming from an athlete.

Too often we turn on SportsCenter and hear someone atoning for a loss or a failure with the words “it was a mistake,” but Michaela said she doesn’t like to polish a loss, so she says what she means.

That’s not to say that she doesn’t think about what she says. There is a quote in my piece about what she learned from her time doing taekwondo before she played field hockey that totally describes the exact way she plays down to a tee; I just thought it was incredible how she worded it.

But the most amazing thing about her is that, for all the success she has on the field and all the recognition off of it, she remains a very humble and warm person. In this era where college and professional athletes are being recognized more for their antics off-field rather than on it, it is nice to see a star not get carried away with their success.

She should be looked at as a role model for young athletes because of her dedication to both her studies and her game. Honestly, whether you play field hockey or any other sport, Michaela Patzner should be someone you take a look at for the true meaning of “student-athlete.”

While I will leave The Review in the spring with no regrets about what I have done here, I will regret the fact that I won’t have a chance to cover the field hockey team next fall, and thus get to see the final act of a player who has dominated the stage she has resided on for so long.

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