Webster achieves dual sport aspiration by competing with field hockey and women’s teams

Makenna Webster, a former Wisconsin star, will move to the state of Ohio and plans to participate in both Field and Ice Hockey. Credit: Tom Lynn

Makenna Webster was already 7 when she started playing ice hockey, but her field hockey career began while taking a physical education class.

Growing up in St. Louis and attending elementary school, Webster’s gymnastics teacher also coached field hockey. One day, Webster’s gymnastics teacher organized field hockey as a class activity, and that’s where his dual sport career began.

“We were doing field hockey as one of our units and I was doing well. And he told me I was supposed to try or go play for the St. Louis club called Gateway, so the next year, after I started ice hockey, I switched to field hockey in second grade. ” said Webster. “And ever since, I’ve been playing both field hockey and ice hockey.”

Webster moved to the state of Ohio in May after playing the last two seasons on the Wisconsin women’s ice hockey team. Although she grew up playing two sports she loved, Webster only competed in one on a collegiate level with the Badgers women’s ice hockey team, because Wisconsin doesn’t offer field hockey as a varsity sport.

She excelled, however, by winning a national championship and earning the Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player in 2020. She represented the United States at the International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s U18 World Championships and won gold twice in 2018-20.

However, Webster still pursued his passion for both field hockey and ice hockey. Continuing her career in the Gateway Field Hockey Club, Webster played through high school and, most recently, she advanced with her team to the 2021 U.S. Field Hockey National Club Championship game in July 2021.

It was with Team USA that Webster became familiar with Ohio field hockey manager Jarred Martin, who has coached the United States U-17 national team since 2015. Martin said he saw her compete in both sports. on ice and in the field.

“It’s one thing to do both – I think it’s another thing to be so successful in both,” said Martin. “But I think this just shows who he is as a person, his athleticism, his competitiveness. Only his commitment. I mean, she loves, she loves to play.

Webster split from Wisconsin in April and entered the relocation portal. He recorded 66 points, 35 assists and 31 goals during his Badger career, including leading his team with 30 assists and finishing third with 53 points and 23 goals last season.

Webster said she enjoyed her experiences and career in Wisconsin but wanted to continue playing field hockey.

“My first two years of college, just playing ice hockey, but then I really missed field hockey,” Webster said. “Playing and helping in the Gateway fields over the summer, I just realized how much I missed him and decided to join the portal.”

Nadine Muzerall, Ohio State women’s head ice hockey coach, and the Buckeyes clinched the first national championship in the program’s history March 20. Once Muzerall found out Webster intended to move out of Wisconsin, she got in touch.

Meanwhile, Martin said Gateway Field Hockey associate director Kate Graft – the field hockey manager at Webster’s St. Louis club – contacted him with the message that Webster had entered the transfer portal, so too. he answered the phone.

“I contacted Makenna as soon as I found out, just talking about what he was looking for,” said Martin. “I told her I was like, ‘I’d like to be your coach. Nadine would like to be your coach. This will be a unique situation, but you have to be the only guy pushing the envelope. ‘”

Muzerall said that because Webster only played ice hockey in Wisconsin, he was alone in the transfer portal for that sport.

Muzerall said he supports Webster’s dual sport prospects idea, hoping to fulfill his aspirations of getting a key player in the Western Collegiate Hockey Assocation. She remembered her football career growing up, saying she “always regretted” not checking out her college football opportunities before turning to ice hockey, so Muzerall is grateful to get the best of both worlds for her. and Webster.

“With the resources we have here, with our strength and conditioning, and with our nutritionist and our sports psychologists and with our academic advisors, she will be truly supported,” Muzerall said. “That’s why I ended up supporting him in the end it’s because I trust my staff who will balance it for her and keep an eye on this, you know, it doesn’t run out.”

For Webster, he will compete closer to the family, he said. Her father is from Cleveland and attended Kent State, and she has multiple relatives in Indiana. She will also have the opportunity to play both field hockey and ice hockey at Ohio State, a program she is already familiar with.

“They’ve always been tough games, like a great Wisconsin-Ohio State rivalry. Ohio State is just a tough team to play, “Webster said.” They always work hard, they are always physical and all, and I love the way manager Muzerall trains them. “

The Buckeyes field hockey team begins pre-season performances against Ohio on August 17, and the women’s ice hockey program begins its season in the state of Minnesota on September 30, so Webster will be challenged by the overlap of the two sports. .

But Webster, Martin and Muzerall aren’t worried. The three have plans to communicate with each other and haven’t set a specific schedule, but Webster is thrilled to have the opportunity to play the two sports he loves under one uniform.

“I think we’ll take it day by day. There is just a very good connection from all the staff members, “said Webster.” Obviously it will be tough, but at the end of the day it will be a great experience and we will see how it goes. “

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.