SHRUK OAK, N.Y. — It is difficult enough for an athlete to make the transition from high school to a major Division I college sport without having to change position as well.
Lakeland graduate Shannon Scavelli experienced this on the University of Michigan field hockey team when the high-scoring forward was moved to midfield. However, Scavelli has made the adjustment to both college competition and a new position.
Scavelli is starting for Michigan and has one goal and two assists. She scored her first collegiate goal in a 2-0 victory against Maine.
“During my senior year, I played midfield against Rondout Valley and Garden City and I really enjoyed it,” said Scavelli, who also played the position in several tournaments.
Scavelli, who led Lakeland to three state championships, said she is switching off between right mid and left mid. Along with the change in positions, Scavelli said the major adjustment to college field hockey was the speed, especially with all the teams playing on turf.
“Everything happens so much faster at the college level all the time,” Scavelli said. “I had to get used to it being much faster because it is not only in games but practice also.”
Between her classes, practice and games, Scavelli said she does not have much time to reflect on her accomplishment. When she does have a free moment though, it puts a smile on her face.
“It’s incredible and amazing to be able to play and help out this team and to know all of the hard work has paid off,” Scavelli said.
Scavelli always will remember her first college game because it was against her lifelong friend and former Lakeland teammate, Emma Bozek, who starts for North Carolina.
“It was strange when the starting lineups were being announced and we were on different sides,” said Scavelli with a laugh. “It was fun to start off the year that way. It was great to see Emma and talk to her.”