MCHS Athletic Director and Field Hockey Coach Sara UlrichALTON - When several female students found out that Marquette Catholic High School Athletic Director Sara Ulrich played field hockey while in college, they began knocking down her door to set up an official team at the school.

“At first, I tried to take myself out it,” Ulrich said. “I didn’t want it to get in the way of my duties as athletic director.”

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With part of the burden slightly lifted off of Ulrich’s shoulders after the hiring of a new assistant this past year, Ulrich decided to give coaching the school’s new field hockey team a try.

Ulrich has quite a history with playing field hockey. She played field hockey while attending Edwardsville High School and went on to play for Lindenwood University’s team.

“I am having a blast,” Ulrich said, “I get to what I love.”

Finding girls to join the team was even easier to accomplish. After all, girls had been playing on the school’s club team for some time.

“Our team is 18 strong,” Ulrich said, “and girls are knocking on the door asking to join the team each day.”

Juniors Emma Taylor, a defender, and Hannah Schulz, a midfielder, were nominated to serve as co-captains of the inaugural 2015 team, due to their drive and charisma with the team.

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“Emma always gets the team going and Hanna shows a lot of dedication,” Ulrich said.

This is Ulrich’s first time coaching an official team outside of camps and other events. Although the task at hand is challenging, Ulrich is more than ready for the start of the season.

“I know the game, you know,” Ulrich said, “it was a struggle getting used to coaching, but now, it’s second nature.”

The Marquette Catholic High School field hockey team showcased their team in a jamboree, which occurred last Saturday, Aug. 15, at St. Joseph's Academy in St. Louis, Mo. The team lost 1-0 to Barat Academy in their first match of the team’s career.

“It was definitely 50/50, you know,” Ulrich said, “it could have gone either way. I was very proud of how our girls played that game.”

In the second game against Rockwood Summit High School, the girls fell 3-0.

“They were a stronger team than we are right now,” Ulrich said. “We made a solid defense, though.”

With 18 girls (and counting) and the support of their alma mater, the Marquette Catholic High School Field Hockey Team are sure to show some outstanding strength and grow even more as the season goes on.

The Marquette Catholic High School Field Hockey team will face off against Rosati-Kain High School on Tuesday, Aug. 25.

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