A photo shows Arielle Mitropoulos ’19 (#11) and Julia Rappaport ’22 (#10) jumping for joy as Sophia Albanese ’21 (#24) scores her first collegiate goal in a 5–0 win over the University of Maine at Farmington this past September.

Arielle Mitropoulos ’19 (#11) and Julia Rappaport ’22 (#10) celebrate as Sophia Albanese ’21 (#24) scores her first collegiate goal in a 5–0 win over the University of Maine at Farmington this past September.

The elation that comes along with scoring a goal is not reserved for the player who puts it in the back of the net. Just ask Arielle Mitropoulos ’19 (#11), who literally leaped for joy when her teammate Sophia Albanese ’21 (#24) scored her first collegiate goal in a game earlier this season. “Field hockey is not a high-scoring game,” Mitropoulos says. “But [it] is such a team-driven game. Who cares who gets it in the back of the goal? As long as it gets in, that’s what’s most important. There are 11 players on the field at once, and everyone has to do their part.”

Mitropoulos has been doing her part since she started at Wellesley. She’s played in 66 games and scored 18 goals in her career with the Blue. Scoring goals and winning games are all well and good, but that’s not the highlight of the student-athlete experience for Mitropoulos, who played her last collegiate game in October after 10 years in the sport. “For me, the best part of athletics has been the camaraderie and the relationships that I have formed with my teammates,” she says. When she and her fellow seniors played in that final game, “it was very emotional to let go of such an important part of our identities, but I feel very grateful for the experience.”

It was an experience she almost didn’t have. Leaving high school, she didn’t think she would continue to play field hockey in college, but when she chose Wellesley, she changed her mind. “I walked on to the team, and that decision completely changed my entire college experience,” Mitropoulos says. “But I don’t feel like I’m leaving everything behind, because I’m leaving with so many dear friendships and so many things I’ve learned.”

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