By Bruce Donnelly
In mid-March, USQ released the roster for Team USA. Players from across the country were chosen by an interregional committee to represent the United States, and these passionate athletes will travel to Frankfurt, Germany for the 2016 IQA World Cup this summer. Out of the 21 rostered players, only one hails from the Mid-Atlantic region: Lindsay Marella.
From the beginning of the inaugural MLQ season, the stardom of Lindsay Marella rose immediately. A beater in her first two seasons with her USQ team, Rutgers University Quidditch, Marella began chasing during the summer last year under the guidance of her New York Titans coach Michael Parada and captain Augustine Monroe. Marella seemed to become a completely different player following her MLQ experience. Now, less than a year later, she has become the sole player representing the Mid-Atlantic region on Team USA.
|Lindsay Marella beating for Rutgers at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship. | Photo Credit: Isabella Gong Photography|
A benefit to her time in Germany will be the appearance of Parada, who will join her and make his third Team USA appearance. Marella is personally excited about that fact, but not necessarily because she anticipates leaning on him for support. Rather, she looks forward to rekindling her on-field chemistry with Parada.
“I think that's a rarer thing to have on a team like Team USA, where players come from all over and possibly haven't even heard of each other, nonetheless played together,” she said.
Marella remained adamant that her desires for the season were not related to individual success.
“Hopefully, I can just be a part of each team’s success with Rutgers, MLQ, and Team USA,” said Marella. “I obviously want to play well, but it doesn't really matter how I do individually so long as the team is advancing and progressing, so I’ll play whatever role I can to make that happen.”
Marella’s progress, while partially credited to her MLQ coaches, must also be attributed to her hard work and dedication to the sport. After her MLQ success, she has become a certified head coach for tournaments, as well as the president and co-captain of Rutgers, which helped lead the team to an undefeated first day at US Quidditch Cup 9. Despite the Day Two loss to Texas State University - San Marcos, the Marella-led Rutgers squad must view the season as a resounding success.
|Rutgers chaser Lindsay Marella playing defense at USQ Cup 9. | Photo Credit: Jessica Jiamin Lang Photography|
Throughout the season, much to her own discomfort, Marella has unintentionally made herself a major storyline within the sport. The level at which she’s matured as a player and leader has led to her team’s success as well. In the eyes of her co-captain, Phill Cain, the MLQ season was a turning point for her and the Rutgers program.
“She came back much more dedicated and truly believed that we could do great things, despite our not-so-great track record at that point,” said Cain.
As someone who does not like the spotlight, it’s no surprise that Marella’s first thoughts upon making the national team were that of pride – for her friends and Team USA teammates. Her own appearance on the roster was something she looked at as much as a relief as an accomplishment.
Cain and the Rutgers team found Marella’s chances to make the team pretty substantial. They knew the competition for the team was fierce.
“We knew damn well that she is one of the most talented athletes we’ve ever seen on pitch, so we knew she had a good shot,” said Cain.
There is no doubt that, after her third season, Lindsay Marella is still growing as a player, and if the last year has been any indication, that bodes well for Rutgers at US Quidditch Cup 10, the New York Titans in MLQ, and Team USA at World Cup.
|Marella donning her Titans’ jersey at the MLQ Championships. | Photo Credit: Jessica Jiamin Lang Photography|