Just one game away from the end of a difficult season, animosity between field hockey coach Colleen Quinn Fink and some of her players flared following sophomore Kat Muller’s dismissal from the team Wednesday.
According to Muller, after Fink found out that the goalkeeper planned to step down after the 2010 season, the coach told her not to attend the team’s two remaining practices or Friday’s season finale against Princeton. She also asked Muller to leave any University gear in her locker.
“I think it’s really unfair what she’s doing, and my classmates are pissed,” Muller said.
“We’ve been having trouble with her the entire season to be honest,” she added.
Fink, who is in her first year as Penn coach, could not be reached for comment.
Muller, a Wharton sophomore, decided a couple of weeks ago she would not rejoin the team after this season.
“The time commitment was too much this season, and I wanted to be able to focus on my schoolwork,” she said.
As a result, the sophomore believes that Fink wanted to pre-emptively take her off of the team.
Muller said that the field hockey coach asked her to come in to her office prior to yesterday’s afternoon practice.
“This is the first time she’s ever talked to me one-on-one,” the sophomore said. “She doesn’t know anything about me, or really anyone on the team, to be honest.”
According to Muller, when the two spoke, Fink said that Muller’s actions were disrespectful to the team and that the goalkeeper was wasting their time by planning to quit.
But the sophomore, who was one of three goalies on the team and has just one career game behind her, disagreed.
“I’m the only person who hasn’t played all season except for people who are injured,” Muller said. “I stuck it out, and I wasn’t going to quit [during the season]. I wanted to be there for my teammates.”
Muller told Fink that she wanted to finish the season with the team to avoid taking focus away from Friday’s game.
According to Muller, her teammates were “really upset” by their coach’s decision.
Despite the rocky ending to her collegiate field hockey career, Muller said she hopes the team can finish on a high note.
“I love my teammates,” she said. “I wish them the best of luck this weekend, and I plan to cheer them on at every game next year.”
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