COLLEGEVILLE >> Not too long ago, Danielle Stong was making noise as a fine student-athlete at Boyertown Area High School.

But time goes by so fast, and now Stong is winding down her collegiate field hockey career at nearby Ursinus College, where the Bears are a nationally highly ranked Division III program.

“It’s been a privilege playing at Ursinus,” said Stong. “As a team, we’ve accomplished a lot that I will remember for a long time. We have made the NCAA touranment the past two years. That has really been an experience. We played some of our hardest teams and that really taught me a lot about my teammates and myself.”

Stong played a forward postion for the Bears throughout her career at Ursinus. However, her role has expanded during the 2015 fall season.

“This year more than ever I have also been challenged to play midfield when needed,” said Stong.

That move occurred when other midfielders were sidelined due to injury.

Stong spoke about two particular games that stand out when looking back on her career.

One was bating The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) this year.

“It was an exciting win as a team, bating the defending national champs,” she said. “We played together the whole 70 minutes. The second game that stands out for me individually was our 2014 Snell Cup game, played at West Chester University.

“We won that game for the first time since I had been playing here, but that is not why it stands out for me. I will never forget it being the hardest game I have ever encountered in my career of playing field hockey. I came off the field emotionally andphysically spent at halftime to the point where I was completely shut down. Janelle noticed and pulled me aside. We talked strategy, but more importantly, she encouraged me to keep working hard, thatthngs would being to turn in my favor. hard, that things would beging to turn in my favor. She also reminded me that my teammates were behind me for support when needed.”

Stong has enjoyed playing close to home in Collegeville, which is not far from her family members and friends in the Boyertown area.

“I love how close to home I am,” said Stong. “Playing this close to home allows for my parents to come to all of my games. I love having them there at the end of the game. I can’t imagine not having them there at the end of the game. My parents have put a lot of time into field hockey since my first year playing. I know they love watching my teams play.”

Choosing Ursinus allowed for that without taking even more time away from their other things.”

Looking back at her senior year at Boyertown and the process of picking a college, Stong said there really wasn’t any other school she wanted to atend. She grew up coming to campus for sporting events, whether it be field hockey or another sport.

“I have felt comfortable since then and couldn’t imagine going anywehre else. Playing field hockey here has made it easier to settle in and adapt to college.”

Stong is working to complete a degree in her major of applied economics with a focus in finance and accounting, along with a minor in Management Studies. Upon finishing school, she would like to find a career in event planning for a corporate company.

She has enjoyed playing for head ccoach Janelle Benner and assistant coach Ashley Pultorak. Stong said Janelle has helped her grown as a player because she is very knowledgeable about the game of field hockey, which helps when Stong has questions about a certain aspect of the game. Also, for the past two years, Benner has had the Ursinus players over to her house for a visits, which has been fun and has enabled the Bears to grow as a team off the field.

Pultorak has been Stong’s coach for a very long time. Pultorak was there when Stong first began playing field hockey with the Perkiomen Valley Optimist Club and then during club level at High Styx. That familiarity has enabled Stong to feel comfortable playing at practices and during games. Ashley is already used to Stong’s style, which has made it nice in terms of the coach realizing Stong’s tendencies and personality.

Two more Ursinus assistant field hockey coaches are Gabe Moliken and Alyssa Thren.

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