A talented hockey player who left for the USA with a GPA of 4.0 and a SAT score of 1380: we are talking about Slamstox hockey player Ymke Huisman! This week Ymke and her university are put in our Spotlight!
Ymke, originally from Valkenswaard, played hockey at HOD and obtained her high school diploma at WereDi in 2018 as a ‘honors student’. Later that year, she left for the USA, becoming part of the ‘Stags’, the nickname for the student-athletes at Fairfield University. There, she ended up in a strong field hockey team that plays in the top division of the American college league. Both a Champ in school and on the hockey field, a true student-athlete!
Ymke is now as a ‘Junior’ in her third semester and has experienced many cool adventures so far. The field hockey team is currently ranked 22nd in Division I, a very high position! They compete in the NEC Conference and lost only 3 games in Ymke’s second season! That is why the team was allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament in 2019, the ultimate goal for every college team. We previously asked her to tell us a bit about field hockey and studying at Fairfield, she said the following:
Fairfield Field Hockey has given me the perfect combination of playing field hockey and studying. Memories such as traveling by plane to an away game, winning the NEC championship and achieving the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ with my best friends will stay with me forever ‘
Want to know more about Ymke’s university? Keep reading!
The university was founded in 1942, at that time under the name ‘Fairfield University of St. Robert Bellarmine’. Fairfield is currently a private university with about 5000 active students every year, not that much by American standards! The campus is located in, as the name suggests, Fairfield! And Fairfield is located in the state of ‘Conneticut’ and is a city of about 62,000 inhabitants. For those who still don’t really have an idea of the location yet, it is quite far in the northeast of the US.
Fairfield is located on the coast and is therefore known for the beautiful beaches called ‘Jennings and Penfield Beach’. Nice to know: these beaches are only a few kilometers from the university. That sounds like wonderful summers to us, Ymke! But there is more ‘good to know’, because Fairfield is also only 60 miles (less than 100km) from The Big Apple! Means that Ymke is now only an hour away from New York City. Sounds like a deal, Ymke!
In terms of temperatures, Fairfield is quite comparable to the Netherlands, four seasons with warm summers and fairly cold winters. Just like in the Netherlands, it has also been quite cold in Fairfield recently. This can be seen in the photo below of Ymke with 3 teammates! Looking out at the huge mountain of snow next to the hockey field, the field itself looks well maintained, right? Good work of FU’s ground crew of and the student-athletes themselves: Go Stags!
About 35 different buildings can be found on the Fairfield University campus, each with its own function. School buildings, administrative complexes, sleeping dorms, restaurants and much more. As in many American universities, the athletic facilities often stand out, so it’s time to have a closer look!
One of the coolest sports facilities affiliated with the university is, as in many cases, the basketball stadium. At Fairfield this is called the ‘Webster Bank Arena’, this arena cannot be found on the campus itself but is used by the Stags. The stadium opened in October 2001, so it is still quite new. University matches are being held but several other events have been organized as well, such as NCAA Tournaments for women’s basketball and ice hockey! The MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship was also organized. You can see the Webster Bank Arena in the picture below!
The George Biasacca Court at Alumni Hall, which can accommodate nearly 2,500 fans, is used for volleyball matches and women’s basketball. But the male basketball team also plays here from time to time, because this stadium can be found on campus. You can see a photo of the stadium in the photo below. Can you guess what Fairfield’s favourite colors are ?!
The ‘Conway Field at Raffery Stadium’ is another beautiful university sports complex. It was only opened in February 2015 and can seat 3,500 spectators! In this stadium mainly Lacrosse is played, in addition to being the home base for the University’s Larosse teams, several tournaments have also been organized. But also the soccer teams, the American Football team and various Club Sports Teams come into action here! Check out the beautiful location of the sports field in the picture below.
You probably know it by now, there are too many great facilities to show in just this article. Fairfield also has beautiful baseball and softball locations, a beautiful tennis park, a great swimming pool, an indoor golf facility and a beautiful golf course, of course beautiful hockey fields and more! Want to see more? Then check out the athletic page with ‘facilities’ of the university.
Do you want to see more of the campus in general? Then watch the campus tour video below!
The Fairfield Stags, the nickname for the varsity teams of student-athletes at Fairfield. As you probably noticed by now, the main university color of the Stags is red. The teams participate within Division I and most of them compete in the ‘MAAC Conference‘. A total of 20 varsity teams are part of the university, which is quite a lot! 11 women’s and 9 men’s teams. And all those teams have to be well encouraged! Fortunately, Fairfield has deployed enough strength for this: there is a dance team, a team with cheerleaders and a mascot who are ready to encourage the athletes. The photo below shows the cheerleading squad who perform at various events to cheer on the Stags.
The university’s mascot, ‘Lucas the Stag’, is also present at the basketball matches and various events. You can see him below. Cool shot for a mascot right?
And of course these encouragement teams cannot do without a Fight Song! ‘Fight for Fairfield U’ is the title of one of the university’s fight songs. You can see a part of the lyrics below:
Come catch the spirit, Fairfield U.
For all to hear it, Fairfield U.
Red and White will always conquer,
Go for the winner ‘till the end, and so we’ll
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight for Fairfield U.
Fairfield University is known for its good athletic program, this is reflected in the large number of awards and victories that the Stags can write to their name. In total no less than 61 MAAC Championships, 70 MAAC Regular Season Championships and 46 times they participated in the NCAA Tournament! You can find out which prizes were won by which teams on this page.
The Field Hockey team, of which Ymke is a part, has also managed to acquire several titles. 2019 was one of the most successful years, and Ymke was part of that success! That year, both the NEC Regular Season Championship and the NEC Tournament were won. That is why the field hockey team was allowed to participate in the NCAA Tournament that year. Super cool right! You go girls!
In addition to the Varsity teams in which the student-athletes are active, the university also has club sports! That includes sailing, the sailing team participates in the ‘New England Intercollegiate Sailing Conference‘. The sailing team consists of students from Fairfield and Sacred Heart University. There are a total of 14 students on the team and compete against varsity teams in the New England and Mid-Atlantic region.
Another club sport consists of skiing and snowboarding, this team also plays competitions, but in the Atlantic Highlands Conference. In this sport, the Stags have qualified themselves for the national championship several times!
Other club sports are rugby and ice hockey. Ice hockey was initially a varsity sport, but was discontinued in the 2002/2003 season due to financial reasons. In the following season it returned as a club sport. Since then, the team has managed to win many great prizes!
Studying, another important part of a student athlete’s life! A huge range of majors is offered at Fairfield. You can check out via this link whether your study program is offered.
We’ve listed a few more fast facts about Fairfield, did you know….
- That the student-faculty ratio is 12: 1? That means that an average of 1 teacher is compared to 12 students!
- The average size of a class is 20 people?
- 30% of the students receive an academic scholarship?
- Students at Fairfield come from 37 different states and 50 different countries?
Do you want to become a student-athlete in the USA, just like Ymke? Or would you like more information about scholarships and sports and studying in America? Reach out! And we will help you.