Mangano shines on field and in front of mic

Matthew Ruffini

This year’s motto for the Quinnipiac University field hockey team has been “Road to the NEC’s” and Ann Marie Mangano is one of the key assets and leaders of this team’s journey.

Mangano, now in her senior year at Quinnipiac, has become one of the leaders of the team and likes to “lead by example.”

“I hope I can provide the type of leadership that has been provided to me in the past,” Mangano said.

Mangano has used many different techniques when trying to provide leadership and inspire the team.

“I give my teammates fireball candies to fire them up before the game, I send them inspiring e-mails before or after big games,” Mangano said.

Mangano believes that if you practice what you preach, it will have a positive effect on the team.

Getting prepared before a game is something that every player takes seriously and goes about it in their own way. Whether it’s listening to music, chatting it up with the other team or going over formations and strategies; players find ways to get themselves ready for action.

However, Mangano has to prepare a little differently than her teammates. Mangano was blessed with a great singing voice and has been singing the national anthem at games, home or away since she was a freshman.

As for her preparation, Mangano feels it matters on whether the game is home or away.

“I love home games because of the crowd, but during away games I don’t have to worry about saving my voice, I have to watch that I don’t scream too much or too loud in warm-up or I’ll have no voice when I sing at home,” Mangano said.

Mangano even attributes her performance of singing the anthem to whether she will have a good game on the field or not.

“I can usually tell if I nail the anthem, if I’m going to have a good game or not,” Mangano said.

Singing the national anthem before games is just another way that Mangano motivates her team.

“Singing the national anthem is something very special to the team,” Mangano said. “The team has cherished those home games where I’d give them goose bumps and set the tone for the game by just doing what I love to do, sing.”

Mangano has also performed the national anthem in front of sold out crowds during hockey games at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. She feels that there isn’t much of a difference between that and another sporting event.

“While one would think I’d be more nervous. the words to the song aren’t changing, just the crowd and location,” Mangano said. “And while I know there are more people in the audience at a hockey game, I sing because I know my family and teammates are still there supporting me.”

Singing isn’t something new for Mangano. She has been singing since she can remember.

“I was involved with school musicals all the way up to college,” she said.

This was when Mangano had to make the choice of sports or singing.

“While I loved to sing, I was getting a scholarship to play field hockey at Quinnipiac,” she said. “In order to get the best of both worlds, I attended QU singers, a choral group that meets every week.”

Music is also something that she would like to pursue after college.

“I was thinking about sending a copy of the anthem to professional sports teams to see if I could possibly sing before their games,” Mangano said.

Mangano said she has been learning to play guitar as well.

She is also very active on campus, for the last two years she has worked as an intern for the student affairs orientation program.

“Our mission is to make freshmen feel more comfortable in the new environment they will be submerged in,” Mangano said.

She has taken part in the alternative spring break trip to Nicaragua, a program offered by the university.

“I am in the teaching program and every March five teachers and 12 agricultural workers go to Nicaragua for 10 days to provide professional development for their teachers and field work to their community,” she said.

As for this years field hockey season it has been a tough opening stretch for the Bobcats as they have gone 1-9 in their first ten games. Mangano feels that their record is not indicative to the teams overall play.

“Teams may look at our record and have no idea what we’re truly capable of, we’re a solid team with a lot of talent,” Mangano said.

Mangano has kept a positive perspective on the team and the season.

“Regardless of our win/loss percentage – no one can take away what this team or this program means to me,” Mangano said. “We have endured a lot thus far, but as I always tell the girls it’s not what happens that matters, but how you react. If we work together there’s no question how good we could be.”