The Marquette experience can lead to new and exciting opportunities, including some on a global scale.
For former Marquette men’s soccer player Eric Pothast (2010-13), his journey to a dream of playing professional soccer began right after the conclusion of the Fall semester of 2013, and took him to Sweden.
The three-time co-captain of the Golden Eagles even had a Marquette connection to help him along the way. But instead of reading about his experience in our words, we’ll let Eric share more of his story:
Checking in from Sweden - Eric Pothast
Hello everyone! As some of you may know, I have spent the last month over in Angelholm, Sweden. Upon graduation from Marquette this past December, I was fortunate enough to land a spot on Angelholms FF, a professional soccer team.
Adjusting to the Swedish culture was a worry at first, but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it has been to acclimate.
First off, everyone in Sweden speaks English. But I should have taken some tutoring lessons from Axel and Sebastian while I could have! In addition, the food here really isn’t all that different from America, much to my surprise. The only issues I have had are translating things in a restaurant or grocery store, and understanding the public transportation.
Everyone with the club has been very welcoming and accommodating in making sure I feel comfortable. Matt Pyzdrowski, a former Marquette goalkeeper and current Angelholm goalkeeper, has been living and playing in Sweden for the past four seasons and has helped make this transition much easier for me.
As far as soccer goes, I am really enjoying it. Angelholm plays in Superettan, Sweden’s second highest division. The past month has been all preseason preparation for our season that officially begins April 6th. Training has been intense and productive. It took me a bit to get caught up to the speed of play, but pushing yourself is what makes you become a better player. Besides playing, we have also been training fitness and strength. I have seen many similarities between some of the Angelholm training sessions and the trainings I went through at Marquette. It speaks volumes about the Marquette men’s soccer program and the way the coaching staff is preparing players to make the leap to the next level.
Looking back at my Marquette experience, I can confidently say that I have no regrets. Although I will miss taking the field at the Valley next season, I will be cheering the boys on from across the pond. I am blessed to be in this position and hope to make the most of this amazing opportunity. I was able to accomplish a lifelong dream via Marquette and I want to thank the coaches, faculty, teammates and others that were a part of it! Go Marquette!
PS: I have started a blog in order to keep everyone up to date with what is going on over here in Sweden. I post weekly updates on trainings, game results, and other fun stuff that is happening. Click the link below to follow along!
Pictured: Eric Pothast and his father, Ben, after his move to Sweden in February. (Photo courtesy Eric Pothast)
From pump-up music selections, to favorite memories prior to a homecoming, Marquette women’s lacrosse on Facebook has the scoop on some of the ladies you’ll be seeing on the field this season.
Check them out:
The enjoyment of the holiday season lies in both the giving and receiving of gifts. Marquette’s student-athletes put giving at the forefront, as their efforts brought Christmas cheer to those less fortunate.
MU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) led the “Marquette Express” to provide 45 Milwaukee children with gifts that they might not have otherwise received. Working through the All Saints Giving Tree organization and All Saints Catholic Church on the north side, each Marquette team collected gifts for a designated family. The teams did the shopping and wrapping, and even wrote personalized messages to the children.
"The children had a wish list," SAAC president and volleyball senior Rachel Stier said. "They told us what they wanted and we played Santa."
During Marquette’s exam week, a group of athletes took time from their studies to personally deliver the gifts to the families, who gathered at All Saints Church to meet the athletes.
"It’s a really humbling experience to be able to see these kids’ reactions to the Christmas presents," men’s soccer redshirt freshman Brady Walsh said. "It’s awesome to see each team pitch in the money and give these kids something that they wouldn’t have had."
We recently sat down nine of our student-athletes to wish Marquette fans a Merry Christmas in a variety of languages, from Serbian to Swedish.
But we learned a little more, including unique traditions (The Swedish love watching Donald Duck cartoons on Christmas day), favorite meals (including C. Nortey’s Ghanian favorites), and best Christmas gift memories.
See both of our segments and learn more about how Christmas is celebrated around the world, through the experiences of Marquette’s student-athletes.
Chris Otule is easily identifiable as one of the “big kids” - he stands 6-foot-11.
But at events like Buzz’s Bunch day, it’s easy for Otule to blend in with the smaller ones.
Buzz’s Bunch, spearheaded by coach Buzz Williams, provides an opportunity for special needs children to experience Marquette basketball in a meaningful way and a chance to interact with the team’s players and coaches.
The most recent Buzz’s Bunch event was a shootaround prior to Marquette’s game against IUPUI at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Otule is a sixth-year senior and has been a part of more Buzz’s Bunch events than almost everyone else that was on the floor on Saturday, Dec. 14. Even with his experience, he recognizes how meaningful these opportunities are.
"You don’t get moments like this a lot," Otule said.
We put a microphone on Chris and followed him - see the piece on our YouTube home.
Southeastern Wisconsin is going through an early-winter cold spell.
The weather here doesn’t resemble the conditions back home for men’s golf sophomore Pat Sanchez, a native of Mazatlan, Mexico, who says the weather is nearly perfect there. However, it hasn’t been a chilling effect for Sanchez, who’s making the most of his Marquette experience on and off the course.
Hear a recent interview we did with Sanchez for the Marquette Basketball Network.
The holiday season is a time for celebration with family and friends. For some of Marquette’s international student-athletes, that task is made complicated by distance from home, as well as the playing season.
Romanian international Cristina Bigica will not be returning home for Christmas - instead, she’ll celebrate in Ohio with teammate Chelsie Butler and her family.
Are Romanian and American Christmas traditions similar? What’s it like being away from home for the holidays? Cristina tells us more in a recent interview for the Marquette Basketball Network.