Spatz set to continue career at Mansfield

By on August 6, 2014
Gaby Spatz

Gaby Spatz

Mansfield University felt like home to Gaby Spatz.

The Mounties had her major, in addition to an opportunity for the 2014 Warwick High School grad to continue her field hockey career.

Another Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference school &tstr; Kutztown University &tstr; was also in the picture, but it wasn’t a fit academically. Spatz had also looked at Liberty University (Lynchburg, Va.) and Arcadia University.

In the end, Spatz committed to Mansfield, where she will receive an athletic scholarship.

A goalie for the Lady Warrior field hockey team which advanced to the L-L League and District Three Triple-A finals and the State quarterfinals last fall, Spatz felt like she was welcomed with open arms by her Mounties teammates.

“They were so humble about the team and the other teams that they play,” said Spatz, who plans to study nursing, with a minor in business, “and it was really neat how they just are not afraid to accept new people into the program and things like that.”

Warwick coach Bob Derr is excited about seeing Spatz sign on with Mansfield.

“Her biggest strength is she just didn’t give up,” Derr remarked. “She will do whatever she can to get where she needs to be. It’s like any senior or any athlete, no matter what sport it is, it’s just a matter of finding the right fit.”

Mansfield brings back rising sophomore goalie Laura Lawson from the team which finished 5-13 overall in 2013. For Spatz, knowing that she has the opportunity to compete for playing time with the Mounties was a positive factor in her decision.

“Definitely,” she said. “(Coach Diane Monkiewicz) said that I will be getting some playing time up there, which is very exciting. Going into college sports, you definitely don’t want to be the one sitting on the bench. So that definitely altered my decision.”

Derr is confident that Spatz will be an asset both on and off the field for the Mounties.

“(Gaby) has some good ability and she works hard. She’s a workhorse,” Derr said. “She’s a great team person. She was very team-oriented and she just took care of everybody &tstr; it didn’t matter who it was. Gaby just brings everybody in and keeps people together which is just an amazing thing about her. That’s the part I really loved about her. And we’re going to miss that.”

A two-year varsity letter-winner at Warwick, Spatz is currently doing a lifting program three times a week and trying to keep her game sharp before reporting for fall workouts.

“I think (my mindset) is just staying in the game and keeping my competition high,” she remarked.

Speaking of competition, Spatz and the Mounties will face no shortage of that in a tough PSAC which has produced the last three NCAA Division-Two champions in West Chester University (2011-12) and Shippensburg University (2013).

“I’m really excited about getting to play these competitive teams,” Spatz said. “Mansfield, when I went up there with the team, we’re all very excited because in the past, they haven’t been seen as a stronger team, but this year, we’re planning to blow everyone out of the water. Catch ‘em by surprise.”

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4451.

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *