By Mandy Bell, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - As most freshmen are thrown out of their comfort zone and forced to find
friends at the beginning of their college careers, Emilee Ehret, Carly Celkos,
Kirsten Gochnauer and Brooke Birosik were already with their closest friends.
"As soon as
you're on campus as a freshman you have friends," Gochnauer said. "Our class is
from different areas and backgrounds but we all cliqued. We all lived in
McElwain together and our dorms were right beside each other. Brooke and Emilee
were together and Carly and I lived together."
Each of the
four seniors have different backgrounds and personalities. One common factor
between them though, was they each fell in love with Penn State's campus the
minute they arrived. For Ehret, she loved it so much that she committed before
telling her mom.
"My mom and
I were both speechless after the visit," Ehret said. "I was so eager and
excited to commit. I know she wanted to wait to see what other places I could
go to, especially because I was looking at playing with my sister at Penn. I
was also just about to receive my SAT scores, but I just knew that I wanted it.
I went upstairs and called Char [Morett-Curtiss] and committed. I came downstairs
and told her and she yelled, "Oh my gosh you are kidding me!' She was really
excited and it turned out to be so funny."
been one of the most consistent and steady players for head coach Morett-Curtiss
this season. Despite her love for field hockey, Ehret has decided not to pursue
sports after graduation as she was just accepted into the Teach for America
America is where individuals are selected to become teachers in low-income
communities," Ehret said. "I will be teaching elementary school. Each
individual commits to teach for two years and are hired by the partner public
schools across the country. During these two years, they are called 'Corps
Members.' I will be getting a Master's Degree at the same time too, also set up
by Teach for America."
post graduation plans already lined up, Ehret is able to thoroughly enjoy her
senior season and reminisce on some of her favorite memories.
"One of my
favorite memories is when I got a weird injury freshman year that caused me to
not really be able to sit," Ehret said. "I was sitting beside Brooke and she
slept for an eight-hour bus drive on the floor for me because I was in so much
pain and needed more space. It was so painful, but looking back on it, it was
one of the funniest memories from my time here."
Birosik has also begun planning for her future after field hockey. She is
currently studying the commercial side of recreation and park tourism management.
She is trying to decide if she wants to stay in sports by going into sports
management or branch out of her comfort zone and do event planning for hotels
or different venues.
been an integral part of the Penn State offense in her four years in Happy
Valley. This season she has registered nine goals, seven assists and 25 points.
With all of her success, Birosik could not imagine her life without Penn State
teammates are my best friends, I don't know who else I would talk to," Birosik
said. "If I have any issues, the first people I tell are my teammates and
coaches. Sometimes we do team bonding events. We do this game where we put
random things on a piece of paper and act them out like charades. It gets the
freshmen out of their shell and it's one of my favorite things every year to
see everyone's personality. Maybe we can all plan trips each year and meet at a
certain destination to come back together."
Birosik lives in an apartment with Celkos and Gochnauer. Birosik and Celkos enjoy
cooking and getting their nails done together.
devotes a lot of time to Life Link. Life Link is a program that Penn State
offers to serve special education students, engage them in academic programs
and help them gain independence. Celkos has tutored these students through an
online course and also assisted with a cooking class last spring. She is
studying rehabilitation and human services and plans to be an occupational
senior season, Celkos has registered one goal, three assists and five points.
Celkos said that it took a few months during her freshman year for her, Ehret,
Birosik and Gochnauer to get close, but once each of them had their
break-through moments, they could not be closer.
roommates with Kirsten freshman year," Celkos said. "We didn't get close until
this one away trip. We were both really home sick and overwhelmed from school. We
both started hysterically crying and then we became really close. That was our
favorite moments with her teammates were always at a bonfire at the beginning
of the school year. It was a time for the team to get together outside of field
hockey, talk about their summers and get the freshmen involved with the team.
has recorded two goals, six assists and ten points so far this season. As
graduation approaches, Gochnauer prepares for a life in the medical field.
involved in the Global Medical Brigades," Gochnauer said. "I am on the
executive board. I order medications for medical clinics in Panama, Nicaragua
and Honduras. We typically spend 5,000 dollars per trip. I went to Nicaragua
last spring and was in charge of 29 students. I was in charge of all the
planning, travel plans and where we would be working. Once we were in the
country, I organized medical clinics each day, made sure everyone knew their
role and taught different vital signs for everyone to take."
love for the medical field came from her mother's work as a nurse for 25 years
and the fact that she is prone to injury.
"As a kid I
was in and out of the hospital with broken bones and so many other injuries,"
Gochnauer said. "At Northwestern I had to get three stitches because a field
hockey stick hit me in the mouth and chipped my tooth. I didn't know it was
chipped until I took my mouth guard out and saw half of the tooth laying in
many different interests and personalities, it establishes a superior class of
of seniors is very special in that they play a very important role on the
field," head coach Morett-Curtiss said. "They were all players as freshman and really
had to learn the system. And now as a senior class, I think they bring a lot of
security to their teammates. They are confident in their own ways. The team
sees them not as being one senior leader, but four senior leaders. That shared
leadership really helps balance out our team and helps our team be as
close-knit as they are."
the four seniors are very different in their own ways, the one thing they all
agree on is that they will be back for every alumni game and homecoming.
Celkos, Gochnauer and Ehret can thank field hockey and McElwain Hall for their