Nov. 15, 2013
By Brock Lewandowski, Michigan State Athletic Communications Student Assistant
Michigan State field hockey senior Adelle Lever is caught in a current. Her whole life, much like anyone else's, has been a series of chances that she's learned to take in stride, starting back with her decision to play field hockey in high school.
"Actually, two of my best friends when I was growing up came up to me and said they were going out for the field hockey team and wanted me to join, so I was like, `ok,'" said Lever. "A lot of stuff with field hockey just kind of happened by chance. I went out to play with my best friends and just have a good time.
"I tried out for something called Futures because I thought it would be fun. I made that and from then I just fell in love with the sport, started making teams, and college was just the way to go at that point."
While she was playing in the US Junior pipeline, she happened to meet another future Spartan and fellow senior, goalkeeper Molly Cassidy, and developed a friendship that has carried through their college years.
"We were actually roommates for three years," said Lever. "It was awesome. We have really similar personalities; we're both laid back. We're kind of night owls. I like to study late; she likes to stay up and do her journalism work. Our schedules just match that way. We like to sleep a lot; we've got a quiet apartment."
Opportunity never stopped knocking for Lever, as she moved from position to position while playing for MSU.
"Actually, my freshman year I started out as left back, then my sophomore and junior year I went to right back," Lever said. "The second half of my junior year I went to center forward and now I'm still at center forward my senior year.
"It was actually hard. In defense, you really aren't supposed to dribble as much or take people on. You're just supposed to be really patient and have the players come to you. On forward, you're the one dictating the play. There are just different skill sets.
"It basically says I'm very versatile, and I go with the flow. In high school, I played all positions too. It's kind of nice to know I have a lot of tools in the box that I can be able to play anywhere."
For all of her good fortune and successful opportunities, Lever has had her own hardships to deal with. Lever went through a leg injury in the spring of 2012, forcing her to redshirt that fall in what should have been her senior year. Even though recovery was difficult, the decision to return was not.
"I love the team," she said. "I love the girls and field hockey isn't something I just wanted to throw away. If I could get another season out of it, I would 100 percent do it like I did."
Lever came back for a final go-around with her team in the hopes of winning the Big Ten tournament, a feat that they accomplished Nov. 10 in Columbus by beating Iowa, 3-2. After MSU battled back from a 2-0 deficit, Lever tacked on the game-winning goal for the Spartans with seven minutes remaining in the game.
She had said, "I want it so bad."
So, what is a team worth coming back for like?
"We have a really fun team," said Lever. "We go with the flow. We want to have a positive outlook. We want to be carefree and relaxed while playing, as opposed to a more `military' type, even though we care a lot.
"All my time outside (of practice) is with the team. Obviously, we have a lot of studying going on, so a lot of times I'll go get coffee or to the Clara Bell Smith Center. We do a lot of movies. We like to watch X-Factor and the Voice. My roommates and I like to hang out together and watch TV. We like to cook too."
Despite all of their time spent together, Lever can pick out one memory above the rest.
"My favorite memory with my team would probably be my sophomore year against Ohio State where we won in overtime," Lever said. "We had a stroke and I scored on mine. It was exhilarating. It was on our home field. It was so cool being able to go up and not feel nervous, just fairly confident that it would go in. Just the feeling of being able to celebrate with my teammates was awesome."
For all of the happenstance she's lived through, it should be no secret as to which character trait she thinks is her best.
"It's probably just being able to go with the flow in a team dynamic," she said. "Basically, what I've learned over the past five years is that everyone on the team has a role. You're role can change year to year, but filling that role, being happy while doing it and being confident, you should just love what you do.
"That's been really helpful in the workplace. You know when you have deadlines and when to get stuff done. I have a good work ethic and good time management through field hockey. I've also learned communication.
"I want to go into a career that has a lot of communication. I either want to be a trainer or a nurse. I just want to help people. Being able to socialize with these girls everyday and being able to work done while being social and have a good time has really helped me take that into the real world.
"I really believe in taking care of other people. I think that people's emotions and how you treat people are the most important things that you could do."