Players are busy on and off the field

Drew field hockey players are among the fall student-athletes making a difference on campus.  Photos by Lynne Delade
Drew field hockey players are among the fall student-athletes making a difference on campus. Photos by Lynne Delade

By the time incoming first-years move in, the fall student-athletes at Drew will have already been on campus for two weeks.

The soccer, tennis, field hockey and cross country members have begun their workouts, met their teammates and started building camaraderie that coaches say is one of the hallmarks of playing at Drew.

Shannon Slowey, a junior and starting midfielder on the women’s soccer team, says a lot of what it means to be a student-athlete at Drew takes place off the playing field, including playing a soccer game last year for charity that raised money for breast cancer research.

There was a reason, she says, she chose Drew instead of the bigger schools that solicited her to play for them. “This was the most home-like and comfortable feeling of all the schools,” she says. “When you get to those big schools, it’s like a hotel. It’s very businesslike. But this has a very home feel.”

Slowey will don her soccer jersey on the morning of Aug. 29 to help incoming first-year students move in, hauling mini-fridges and supplies into the dorms, just one of the volunteer projects student-athletes participate in during the school year. Under the guidance of the Student Athletic Advisory Council, student-athletes also coach disabled athletes, raise money for leukemia patients and take part in other charitable activities.

Tennis Coach Matt Brisotti said unlike larger schools, Drew students get to take advantage of clubs, community service and other activities the university offers. “You’re able to be involved in many different things,” he says.

Lenny Armuth, the men’s soccer coach, brags that he’s coached Baldwin honors scholars, civic scholars and a cappella singers, among others. “They want a diverse experience,” says Armuth. “They want to go abroad. They want to do the Wall Street experience.”

Slowey says when she’s not on the soccer field, she plays intramural volleyball and hangs out in downtown Madison with her friends. Her teammates say they belong to clubs with topics as diverse as science and criminal justice, and hang out with both athletes and non-athletes.

“We recognize all aspects of their college experience,” says Christa Racine, the women’s soccer coach. “They’re finding the best friends for life right on their teams.”—Elizabeth Moore