October 01, 2016
Division III student-athletes continue their sports at the collegiate level largely for the love of the game; there are no athletic scholarships, and few athletes get the opportunity to continue playing their sport in an organized fashion once graduation comes and goes.
There are a handful of DIII student-athletes, though, who do get to extend their playing careers. At Susquehanna, one student-athlete has taken her post-collegiate athletic career to Australia.
Field hockey player Alyssa Rothman ’16 practically left straight from graduation for Australia to represent the United States in the Victorian Country Field Hockey Tournament in Melbourne.
As a student, Rothman studied abroad in Australia for a semester to fulfill her Global Opportunities (GO) requirement. She was itching to return, particularly after having to decline an offer to play in the 2015 tournament due to a packed summer schedule.
“I absolutely did not want to pass up another opportunity,” she says. “I love Australia and studied abroad there for my GO trip during the summer of 2014 and could not wait to get back.”
The hitch? She had just 14 days to accept the invitation and had to finish the varsity women’s lacrosse season. Once her senior lacrosse season ended, she enlisted the help of Susquehanna field hockey coaches Kaitlyn Wahila and Allison Fordyce to quickly whip her back into field hockey shape.
Rothman says one of the biggest differences between U.S. and Australian field hockey is the sheer number of opportunities for adults to continue playing the sport. “In Australia, there are competitive leagues for all ages,” she says. “Seeing men and women play at a high-intensity level at 50-plus years of age is amazing. Their love for the sport never dies, and that’s how it should be.”
Rothman is currently working on her master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She plans to attend medical school afterward.