"30 Features in 30 Days". Former Shepaug Star Linnea Quist Produces for Springfield College Field Hockey Team. Story by John Torsiello.
By, JOHN TORSIELLO
After a bit of a bumpy start to her collegiate career, former Shepaug High School star Linnea Quist was healthy this season and played an important role for the Springfield College field hockey team.
“Thankfully I had an injury free season and was able to play with no restrictions,” said Quist now a junior at Springfield. “It took a while, but my body has finally held together for an entire season. Being able to go 100 percent in every practice has paid off. I've become much stronger, and having two years of college level play, I have definitely improved and become more of an offensive threat.”
Quist said she has settled in well at Springfield, a Division III school.
“I can't believe I'm almost half way through my junior year. Spending two years here has made it feel like home. This season has personally been my best one yet at Springfield. This week, I had three goals against Babson and despite our loss, it felt pretty good.”
Quist, an All-Berkshire League and All-State player for Shepaug, had a rough first two years at Springfield, suffering painful shin splints during her freshman year, and she got into only five games her first year with The Pride. The summer between her freshman and sophomore years the shin splints returned. But the 5-foot, 4-inch former Spartan standout battled on and managed to play in 15 games, starting two with two goals, as Springfield went 10-10. This season, she felt fine and started every game (18), as the Pride went 6-12, scoring 11 goals and adding four assists.
She said of Springfield’s 2013 season, “We started off with a tough schedule and weren't doing as well as we hoped to in the beginning but we kept our heads up the whole season. We just lost to Babson in a tournament (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) quarterfinal game, 5-4. That was our tenth game of the season that we lost by one goal. Clearly we put up a fight all season long but unfortunately our record doesn't show how strong of a team we really were.”
Quist explained that attending Springfield in nearby Massachusetts seemed a natural thing for her to do.
“My brother attended Springfield College, so I have always been familiar with the school. Once I had to start looking at colleges my senior year, Springfield seemed to suit me very well. It has a field hockey team and a great occupational therapy program. Also, on top of that, Springfield College has a feel to its campus like no other school. It’s a close knit campus and everyone knows everyone. You can’t go anywhere on campus without running into someone you know and I absolutely love that about my school. It truly feels like a second home.”
Quist said there is a significant difference between high school and collegiate field hockey.
“We rarely would play on turf in high school, so to be playing on it every day has made me realize how much faster the game is on turf. It’s also a lot cleaner and includes more passing and less fouls. You know that if you are on a college team, your teammates love the sport just as much as you. Knowing that everyone on the team is there for the same reason and wants to win is something that’s awesome to be a part of.”
Quist recalled her Shepaug days fondly.
“My coach at Shepaug, Jaye Stuart, taught me multiple life lessons. I couldn't have had a better coach than her for four years. Not only is her knowledge on the game amazing, but she pushed me in all areas of life and taught me the importance of resilience. She was always there for me and one of the best mentors I've had to look up to.”
Quist took away much from being a part of the Shepaug field hockey program, with its depth of tradition and success on the field.
“I had some great competition in high school in the Berkshire League, and most of those girls also played on my club team, the Connecticut Revolution. Being able to play against those girls throughout high school definitely improved my play and prepared me for college field hockey.”
Quist will continue to work out and pay indoor field hockey with her Springfield team during the off-season and then play outside in the spring.
Quist is an occupational therapy major and says, “Classes are great this semester. I'm getting experience in the field that will help me in the future as an occupational therapist. I'm also in an anatomy class and get to work with human cadavers, which is extremely interesting, and as challenging as it is, it's the most I've ever learned in one class.”
When she isn’t playing or practicing field hockey or attending class and doing homework, she likes to kick back with her roommates, teammates and friends.
“We do some baking and movie watching but mostly just hang out and relax because down time doesn't seem to come that often.”
After a challenging couple of seasons health-wise, New Preston’s Linnea Quist is finally feeling well and in a good place. She’s looking forward to capping off her career at Springfield in grand fashion next year.