Welles leads by example
Edward Rudman – Sports Writer
Getting involved on campus is an important aspect of college, something field hockey forward Karley Welles understands very well. “I am involved with a few clubs; Counsel for Exceptional Students, Golden Key Internationals Honor Society and community service. I like to keep myself busy outside of school and field hockey,” said Welles.
Welles is also a double major in collaborative education and liberal studies with a concentration in social science and English. Outside of the university, she is the assistant site director for the Parks and Recreation Department of Newington, Conn.
Welles has been described as a leader by setting an example for her teammates and coaches. She has worked hard to get to where she is.
“We have four seniors this year and she might not be a captain, but she’s a leader in her own right with how she contributes to the team dynamic in a sense of keeping everyone engaged and making sure that she is responsible for always checking in, being on time and setting that good example for other teammates,” said Head Coach Kelley Frassinelli.
Welles started playing field hockey in her freshman year of high school. She had played soccer throughout her childhood but decided to switch to field hockey in high school, not knowing anything about the sport.
“My sophomore year, I really started getting into it when I began playing club for the HTC field hockey club up until college,” said Welles. “I played in so many tournaments, regional and national, and I just fell in the love with the sport and the competition.”
Welles chose to play field hockey at Southern due to the variety of majors offered and the proximity it has to her home. Welles said that at the end of the day, if she ends up not enjoying field hockey at Southern, she’d be at a place where she feels she would thrive academically.
On the recruiting side, Assistant Coach Ann Berry met Welles while she was in high school at one of her club matches.
“I saw her a bit on the field in high school. She then expressed interest in coming to Southern and that’s when we started getting in contact with her,” said Berry.
Welles teammate, forward Chloe Knight, a senior, has gotten to know her well over the years.
“We’ve been friends since freshman year, and I feel like we’ve gotten a lot closer as time has gone on. I feel like that connection outside of field hockey helps with when we’re at practice and in games. We know each other’s needs on and off the field and it makes it way easier for the both of us,” said Knight.
Last season, Welles played in 17 games and started all of them. She recorded a total of 5 goals and 1 assist with a shooting percentage of .179. In her career, she has scored 11 goals and 25 points.
“She has consistently grown since coming in her freshman year,” Frassinelli said. “She’s grown as a player and not just with her skills but with her leadership as well. Her demeanor on the field, how she interacts with her teammates, she’s been a really good leader by example.”