COCOLAMUS - As a four year starter on East Juniata's varsity field hockey team, Stephanie Dressler has had her share of success on the pitch. Wednesday, she put the pen to the page to take that success even further when she signed a letter of intent to play at Bucknell University.
It's what you might say is another step in a journey Dressler started back in eighth grade.
In just the second year of her days playing field hockey, Dressler attended a field hockey camp at Bucknell, and it was during that time she decided she wanted to play at the collegiate level.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE?BOYER
East Juniata’s Stephanie Dressler signs her letter of intent to play field hockey at Bucknell University Wednesday morning with her parents, Lori, left, and Dan Dressler; and back, Principal Ben Fausey, Assistant Principal Thor Edmiston, and Athletic Director Alyssa Wittle, attending.
"I loved the campus, and I loved the coaching staff. At that point I knew that I wanted to play in college," Dressler said, explaining that even then she wanted to play at Division I Bucknell, although at the time it felt like an unlikely dream.
Yet despite how it felt as an eighth grader, Wednesday it became a reality, and Dressler was very excited.
"I was just so excited to go to Bucknell that I was relieved I could sign it today," she explained.
One person who foresaw a collegiate field hockey signing for Dressler was East Juniata coach Billie Haines, who said the accomplishment was a product of Dressler's hard work throughout the years.
"Her hard work has definitely paid off. She'll be an asset to Bucknell's team for sure," Haines explained.
In terms of hard work, one way Dressler has improved her skills throughout the years is by playing club hockey tournaments in the Pottstown area. Dressler said the teams are comprised of girls looking to play in college, so it's a good place for her to experience a high level of competition.
Haines said Dressler - a midfielder - was "very good at creating scoring opportunities for herself and for other players." Haines also explained that because of Dressler's skill level, she regularly relied on the senior to do demonstrations in practice and that she was a great guide for her younger teammates.
"From the start, she was always a player that everybody looked up to," Haines said.
Dressler has yet to declare a major at Bucknell, but the quality of education she will receive at the university is not lost on her.
"It's going to be a great education, and it's going to be a lot of fun," she said, further explaining that during an overnight stay at the school she came away thinking the team is very positive and a lot of fun to be around.
Bucknell is a Division I school, but before signing Wednesday Dressler said she had spent some time looking into a few Division III schools as she considered how much she was willing to commit to the sport during her college years. However, when she got the offer from Bucknell, it was an easy choice.
"When Bucknell contacted me I was like, 'Yes, this is a dream school, I want to go there,'" she concluded.