Editor's note: This story first appeared in the spring 2020 issue of the Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin.
There are only about 20 competitive floorball teams in America, and Concordia University Wisconsin can claim one of its competitors.
Annalina Van Hercke, a freshman marketing major, represents the U.S. in international floorball tournaments, serving as the U-19 (under 19 years of age) and Women’s Team USA goalie. The Colorado native has been at it for the past five years and has competed four times in the world championships, traveling to Switzerland, Canada, and Slovakia for the honor.
In her spare time (there’s very little of it), Van Hercke also competes on the CUW women’s hockey team. The well-rounded scholar-athlete maintains an incredibly disciplined schedule in order to accommodate the two sports.
Floorball is an indoor sport similar to ice hockey, but without the skates or ice rink. It originated in Sweden in the late 1960s and continues to be popular in Europe, but has only more recently made its way to the U.S., with its first known introduction in America in the early 1990s. The United States Floorball Association, which was officially established in 1994, gave U.S. competitors the chance to compete internationally.
While ice hockey remains Van Hercke’s first love, she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to stick with floorball. Concordia was attractive for that very reason.
“The size of Concordia’s classes was a big draw,” Van Hercke said. “I’ve had to miss class time for floorball, and my professors have honored my initiative and planning; they’ve been incredibly flexible. I feel so thankful for the strong friendships I have at Concordia, and I’m thankful I get to continue to form relationships with women on the international level.”
The spring 2020 Concordian hit mailboxes the end of April. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email Jennifer.Hackmann@cuaa.edu.
— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.