By Carson Drake
SMA – Communications
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University field hockey team is coming off one of the most successful seasons in program history. The RedHawks (12-10, 4-1 MAC) captured several athletic and academic distinctions on their way to a MAC Championship. The team has portrayed a strong commitment to excellence through their various accomplishments on and off the field. Best of all, members of each class have contributed to the team’s success in one way or another. Junior goalie Sarah Mueller (Berlin, Germany) is one of those individuals that epitomize a successful, well-rounded student-athlete.
Recently Sarah was recognized as a Collegiate Scholar of Distinction, awarded to those who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or higher. This is not the first academic award for the International Studies and French double major. In the past two seasons, she has earned Academic All-MAC honors. Athletically, she has garnered the MAC Defensive Player of the Week three times and was named to the All-MAC First Team for her impressive capabilities as the backstop for the RedHawks.
Fortunately, Sarah has taken the time to give all Miami fans an inside look on what life at Miami University is like for an international student-athlete.
What initially attracted you to Miami University?
It was Miami’s great reputation and its effort towards its students. Also the impressive International Studies department and obviously the great Miami field hockey program.
Was it a difficult decision to leave home?
Obviously it was a difficult decision. It meant leaving a lot behind but it also made me enter a new part of my life, which I will never regret.
What other schools did you consider when you were going through the process?
I was approached by many other colleges; one offer came from California.
Do you believe you made the right choice?
Yes I definitely think I did. I became a different person and I love it here. I am so thankful for this opportunity.
What were your needs/expectations when making the choice?
Attending a good school with great professors and coaches.
What do you hope to gain/accomplish, both athletically and academically when you graduate from Miami?
Eventually I want to graduate with a double major in French and International Studies and a Political Science minor. Then I will apply to graduate school and eventually I either want to work for the Foreign Service or for the UN.
Personal/team goals this season?
I personally want to be a great leader for my team and improve my skills. As a team I want to win the MAC again and go to the NCAA Tournament.
How would you describe your Miami athletic experience so far?
It has been amazing. I have had great coaches and do have a great staff and team right now. I love going to practice and working hard, and I think the Miami Athletic Department is a great supporter.
When did you first know that you wanted to play a sport in college?
I started considering very early on. I have played for 14 years now and I really wanted to combine studying in the U.S. and playing for my college, as it is not possible like that in Germany.
What is your favorite Miami tradition?
I love going to the ice hockey games and singing the fight song together.
Favorite place in town? On campus?
I love the formal gardens. I love the field hockey field obviously and King library as it gives me access to so many resources.
Favorite aspect of Miami?
The great International Studies department.
How do you spend your time when you’re not competing?
I am very involved on campus. I am the VP of the International Student Organization. I am a student instructor for Microeconomics. I am a member of NSCS. I do a lot of volunteering. I have won many awards. I am currently helping a professor to write a book. I am doing an independent study. I am taking a lot of credit hours. I just won the undergraduate summer scholar research award which I will conduct this summer in Berlin, Germany.
Aside from your team, what other Miami teams do you make an effort to watch?
I go to all the sports, but I went to ice hockey the most.
How does the competition at Miami compare to the level you faced back home?
I played for the Under 16, under 18 and under 21 National team so the competition level is pretty similar to them.
How do you prepare for your game?
A lot of running, lifting, practice and goalie exercises.
Any unusual routines?
Mental preparation before games, and I listen to a self-imagery script on my iPod.
Any advice for international students that might be considering playing sports in an American college/university?
I would tell everyone to be as open to the challenge as possible. It won’t always be easy but it will be the greatest experience of your life.