Educate Through Sports: Sophie Grabiec
Sophie Grabiec wrapped up her freshman field hockey season at Washington College with optimism for the future, both on the field and in the classroom. Now with almost one full semester finished, she hopes to use her spring term to get involved with a range of extra-curricular activities.
Surprisingly, Grabiec didn’t initially have the intention of playing field hockey at WC. She first applied as a student, which later turned into a student-athlete with some convincing from her parents and an impressive showing at a recruiting clinic held at the school. “Deciding to play Field Hockey here was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I contacted Coach Boyle, came to a prospect clinic in April, and all in one day I was committed to play here. It didn’t soak in until two months later,” said Grabiec.
It is uncommon to solidify a roster spot as late as Grabiec did, but former Head Coach Rachel Boyle was impressed with qualities she brought to the prospect clinic. “She showed her value, her ability to develop and evolve as a player, she demonstrated her strength and confidence in her character,” Boyle explained. “She was very assertive and it showed when she was interacting with our leaders during that clinic event. Sophie has an immense ability to evolve, her athleticism and ability to translate what is said into game play is very high as well.”
The pressure of coming to college can be overwhelming, especially for a fall sport student-athlete. Grabiec feels that her decision to play field hockey has enhanced her freshman experience. “The transition from high school to college was hard at first, but that was expected. After I got into a rhythm, everything went smoothly. Having a team to support you makes everything easier,” she says. “The whole team was really accepting. It was like gaining a whole new family rather than just gaining teammates.”
Balancing school and athletics can be hard, but Grabiec has learned it’s easier to have a regimented schedule in order to help prioritize better. When asked how she stays organized, she gives credit to her friend group. “My three best friends keep me on track.”
If she ever runs into a problem, especially off the field, she knows she has the support from her family away from home. “I know I can go to anyone, for any problem,” she said. Whether it is an academic problem or a social problem, I can go to them for everything.”
As far as the future goes for Grabiec, she looks to lead in growing the team and to make and perform well in the playoffs. “I wouldn’t necessarily be focused on earning awards, I would be more focused on being a better leader and player.”
Although Boyle coached her for just one season, she explained the value Grabiec brings to the program moving forward. “Sophie works with real fire and desire - she pushes herself, she wants to be the best she can be,” Boyle said. “That is an incredible talent - she also has the ability to be flexible and take on whatever responsibility is asked of her in an assertive and confident way.”