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Meet October’s female athlete of the month: Gianna Glatz

After a season of impressive performances for the Rutgers field hockey team, senior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz has been selected as The Daily Targum’s female athlete of the month.  – Photo by Rich Graessle / Scarletknights.com

Senior goalkeeper Gianna Glatz has been playing field hockey since the third grade. The game ran in the family with her mom playing in high school, and Glatz took an immediate liking to the sport.

“We had a really great (recreational) program in my town,” said Glatz. “So once we heard about that, I signed up.”

Glatz played with her future Rutgers teammates, senior back Olivia Drea, senior midfielder Gianna Mancini and junior back Isabella Mancini, on that recreational team and went on to play field hockey through middle school and high school.

Becoming a Scarlet Knight was always in the conversation for Glatz with her father being an alumnus and her attending various Rutgers practices with the USA futures team.

“I had actually been around the coaching staff in later middle school and in high school,” said Glatz “I’ve always been around Rutgers so obviously, it was one of the schools on my list, and when the time, came I said yes.”

Since then, Glatz has been awarded countless accolades including seven Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week awards and a career goals-allowed average of 1.45 as a Knight. Glatz was also named to the 2021 First Team All-American and received the 2021 Big Ten Medal of Honor.

This season has been electric for the Rutgers field hockey team as they have dropped only three games and are currently ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten. Glatz has contributed to this success with four shutouts on the season, only allowing a season-high of three goals in a single game. The Knights are also hosting this year’s Big Ten tournament, an event that will start on Nov. 4.

Although success is a huge part of her career, Glatz faced a large obstacle in her playing career. For some athletes, obstacles come in the form of things they can control, but Glatz’s is out of her hands.

“My height's always been an issue, so I knew when I was younger that schools weren’t going to look at me just because I’m (5 feet 3 inches tall),” said Glatz. “But at the end of the day, you have to control the controllable and work on everything else that you can't control.”

Even with this obstacle, being the best was always Glatz’s goal. When others gave up and walked away, Glatz trained harder with her eyes set on the highest level of collegiate field hockey.

“That's just my mentality ... like why do it if I’m not going to put in the effort to be the best? And obviously, when the time came, I wanted to play Division I,” said Glatz.

This mentality helped with her decision when it came to where she was going to commit to playing in college. It wasn’t all about finding any Division I program. Glatz wanted to find a program that she could help build and make her own mark on.

“I wanted to play and compete for a Division I program that was up and coming. I didn’t want to start on a program that was already ahead — I wanted to help this program,” said Glatz.

As her time at Rutgers comes to an end, Glatz is looking forward to whatever life brings her after graduation. Majoring in education, Glatz isn’t quite ready to let go of athletics.

“If this is where everything ends, I am super thankful,” said Glatz. “I think I want to pursue a career in athletics somehow, whether it's coaching or internal operations at a university.”

Before Glatz hangs up the cleats or pursues a career with Team USA, she is just trying to take in every moment as it comes. With only two games left in the regular season, Glatz and many other seniors are taking advantage of every second.

“It goes by so fast, and honestly, I wish I could keep reliving this experience,” said Glatz.

As for advice for any other young girls looking to get involved in sports? Glatz’s message is clear: Don’t let any obstacle or any person keep you from doing what you love. 

“Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something just because of your height or anything like that. You can do it," said Glatz. "Just have a good mindset, and don’t worry about what other people think. At the end of the day, what you believe you can do is what you will.”


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