When Corinne Urisko headed to preseason camp last summer for her freshman season with the Babson College field hockey team, she was a bit apprehensive.
“I was nervous, I didn’t know exactly what to expect,” said Urisko, a former Princeton Day School standout. “The team was predominantly juniors and seniors so I was a little scared.”
But with the veterans rolling out the welcome mat for Urisko, she overcame those fears and emerged as a starting defender for Babson.
“They were all so welcoming, I realized that I fit in with them,” said Urisko. “I was lucky enough to start every game and play almost every minute of the season. I started at right back and moved to center. The seniors had a big impact on me. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
While Urisko had jitters in her college debut against Endicott, she found she enjoyed the challenge of playing at the next level.
“I was nervous for the first few minutes then I really got into it,” said Urisko, crediting PDS head coach Tracey Arndt with helping prepare her well for the jump to college field hockey.
“The speed of the game is completely different, it is much more upbeat. In high school, you see all ranges of skill. In college all of the players are skilled, it is a fun game.”
One of the most fun moments for Urisko last fall came when Babson played Connecticut College and former PDS teammate Carly Ozarowski.
“It was so nice to see her again,” said Urisko, recalling the game. “It was a little weird to play against her after we had worked together so much in high school.”
The Beavers did well last fall, posting an 11-9 record, winning three of four games before ending the season by falling 3-2 to Wellesley in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) semifinals.
“Beating Springfield, we were so happy for that win,” Urisko, referring to a 5-4 victory over the Pride in the NEWMAC quarters. “Losing to Wellesley in semis was a highlight because we played so well. It was a close game.”
For Urisko, keeping a close eye on her studies was particularly critical since she was spending so much time on field hockey.
“I learned that you have to balance schoolwork with playing,” said Urisko, who is studying business and notes that Babson was ranked first on Money magazine’s recently-released list of best colleges.
“There are so many things going on at campus. We are traveling a lot so you have to have your assignments prepared and keep up with the professors.”
Socially, Urisko was able to keep up with things on campus. “I made so many friends,” said Urisko, who joined a sorority. “The athletes are a close unit, most of my closest friends are on the fall sports teams.”
This spring, the field hockey team got a sense of what kind of unit it is going to be this fall.
“We have a big spring training program; we do track workouts and skill sessions,” added Urisko.
“We have a spring tournament in April. It was good practice for us to not be playing with the seniors. It gives us a preview of what things are going to be like without them.”
Over the summer, Urisko has focused on conditioning and honing her skills.
“I have been doing a big workout packet and playing some pick-up field hockey,” said Urisko.
“We have a team camp at our college called 4Goals with different coaches. We start preseason training on August 15.”
With a season under her belt, Urisko is looking to take a bigger role on the field this fall for the Beavers.
“I want to be a good influence on the underclassmen,” asserted Urisko. “I am the only returning defender so I want to emerge as a leader. It is going to be hard without the seniors, but we have a lot of talent and potential.”