Transfer student Ally McCall is finding her stride as she tackles field hockey and a new college environment.
With a whirlwind of new teammates, a new campus and a whole new style of life, there is a lot to take in the first week after move-in day. Now a sophomore and an official Keene State College Owl, McCall reflects on her journey from University of Vermont (UVM) to KSC, as well the circumstances of her transfer.
“UVM was huge,” McCall said. “I committed so early that I don’t think I realized that I knew I didn’t want a big school. So that was a big reason for me transferring. Before, walking around campus at UVM, I could maybe say hi to one of my teammates, but now, it’s like I say hi to everyone. I’ve made so many more connections.”
However, her love for the game and her desire for competition has in no way been affected.
“Playing-wise, it was still challenging; pre-season was just as challenging at Keene as it was at UVM, especially physically,” McCall said. “My transition was great though, I don’t think it could’ve been any better. I love everyone on the team. The coaching staff is amazing. It’s fun, we work hard, but it’s honestly so much fun.”
Downsizing from a Division I college to a Division III college is a huge difference for any student, especially a student athlete.
Finding yourself again at a new college and in a new team can be challenging, but McCall has taken this new experience head on. “I love it here,” McCall said, “I think it was easier for me because I already had a year behind me, so I can manage. The transition has been very smooth.”
McCall’s teammate, Erica Chareth, is also a sophomore transfer, coming from Assumption College. “I like it here a lot more already,” Chareth said. “It’s a different dynamic, but it’s still definitely intense. Ally’s transition is going good, she is a very versatile player or a player that can handle anything. She gets thrown on a new team with a bunch of new people and is killing it already; she’s so good.”
Although transferring to a new team may seem intimidating, McCall is already thriving. “I love my team and I’ve made a lot of friends,” McCall said. “I actually have gotten pretty close with one teammate, she is a transfer student like me. That really helps us connect.”
Being able to transition so easily for McCall has made her realize that her previous desire for a smaller school was not misguided. McCall said, “As soon as I visited, I knew this was the place I needed to be.”
Kendal Brown, a senior on the field hockey team, has been playing for four years.
“Ally’s transfer has been amazing, she fits right in,” Brown said. “She’s honestly been the connecting part of our team. She is really good, knows the game very well. We worked really hard to be in shape so we could be faster than the other teams. Because we’re so new, we still need to get used to working with each other, but this year there is a really great group of girls. We’ve been having a lot of fun. It’s just like a community.”
Keene State’s field hockey team is excited about their newest editions and are ready to tackle this season, said Brown.
With her UVM campus behind her, McCall confidently takes on what KSC has to offer. McCall looks forward to tackling her elementary education and math degree, as well as working hard on her position at midfield.
With each year comes new challenges, and McCall said she is “more than excited to be a part of the Keene State community.”
Caroline Perry can contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org