MLAX Senior Reflection: Colin Riehl
Riehl is a team captain and been a team leader in a number of outside activities during his career.
Riehl has been a valuable member of MU's SSDM group and a team leader.
May 2, 2018
This is part of a series on the Marquette experience of the 2018 senior class.
Colin Riehl, a business administration major, has been a key component to the SSDM unit during his four years at Marquette and has posted career highs of three goals and 22 ground balls as a senior.
What is your proudest moment as a Marquette lacrosse player? Colin Riehl: Hard to answer. I would say that every time I'm able to put on the jersey or practice with the guys, it is unexplainable how happy I am. If I had to narrow it down to one moment, I would have to say beating Ohio State this year. Just seeing my boys (SSDMs) step up to the challenge and beat a top ranked opponent. It was a glimpse of how great they will be when I am gone, and it made me so proud to be a part of such a solid group.
What is your most memorable experience with the team? Riehl: Most memorable experience I would say was going to Cole Blazer's mother's funeral. It showed me that this team would be here for each other in the toughest times in life when we would need it the most. Just to be able to show Cole we cared and that we were there for him will always stick with me.
What is the best advice you have gotten from the coaches? Riehl: Best advice would be Coach Amplo telling me that showing vulnerability is actually one of the toughest things a person can do. I used to think that it showed weakness, but he's taught me that it ultimately shows strength. They have taught me to be a man. Through challenging me to better myself in every aspect of life, stand apart when no one else would, and do the right thing even no matter how uncomfortable or hard it might be.
What's the best advice a teammate has given you? Riehl: The best advice that a teammate has given me was actually not verbally told to me but rather, shown. Noah and Jacob Richard both showed me that caring for my teammates and listening to what they have to say are some of the most important things you can do. Between that and B.J. Grill telling me to take a breath every once in a while, are probably the best advice I've received.
What's the best advice you could offer future Marquette lacrosse players? What do you see in the future of this program? Riehl: Don't be too proud to "carry the water." No matter how many years you play here, don't be too proud to do the little things for the team. Cleaning up the field, bringing water over to a drill, getting balls ready for a drill, etc. These might seem like menial work, but caring that much will make everyone better around you.
What has motivated you? Riehl: Multiple things have motivated me throughout my time at Marquette. When I was younger, I was motivated by proving everyone wrong back home that ever doubted I would ever go to a Division I school, let alone be blessed to play. Now, it's my teammates and winning. All I want is to see my teammates succeed both on and off the field. That would be making them better people in any way I can and helping them reach their goals when I can. When it comes to winning, it is normally the one statistic that is remembered when you leave somewhere. The question is always, "Well...did you win?" That's not to say that winning is everything, but I do see its value. This team has to win in order for people to care and see what we are doing here is special.
Most memorable game? Why? Riehl: Most memorable game so far would have to be beating Denver in the semifinals last year. We had lost terribly to them no more than a week before, and we battled it out to win and move on to the championship. We knew we could finish out the tournament then and there; we just had to have the will to win.
Describe how you felt during your very first practice or team activity. Riehl: First team event I can remember was the beginning of the year captains' scrimmage. It was just the team and it was my first glimpse of what I had committed myself to. To say I was nervous is an understatement. It was my chance to really show these guys what I was all about and set the tone for the rest of the time I would be here.
Describe how you felt before your first game. Has that feeling changed? Riehl: Again, I was nervous, but a different nervous. It was more of an excitement. It is hard to describe, but I essentially just couldn't wait to get out there. I had worked so hard to get here, and this was going to be the start to what I wanted to be a great career. I did not, however, accomplish everything that I wanted to, but honestly, I think what I didn't gain in honors, I gained in life lessons. Between being able to confront and conquer my fears to ultimately receiving probably the most life-changing help to learn how to deal with my depression/anxiety.
Do you feel a rivalry developing with any opponents you have played? Riehl: Kind of. To be honest I used to hate teams. I would hate my opponents before I played them. I thought it gave me an edge. Honestly though, I learned that letting those feelings go allowed me to focus on what was important: winning the game instead of embarrassing them. So yes, I used to with every opponent we played, but currently I don't.
How do you think you've changed as a player or person over your career at Marquette? Riehl: I honestly think I have changed immensely over my time here at Marquette. As a person, I see the importance and strength in knowing when to walk away and knowing when to stand up for yourself. The coaches and my older teammates have shown me the proper way to act in certain situations, as well as the best way to handle your life challenges. They, along with my parents, have taught me what it means to truly be a man in this world and I can't thank them enough. As a player, I have learned so much about this game that has given me so much. I think that learning how to perform when my lungs are burning, my legs are full of cement, and game is on the line, has taught me both what I am capable of as well as plenty of life lessons that would be hard to recreate outside of lacrosse.
How do you think you've changed as a player or person over your career at Marquette? Riehl: I will take many lessons away from my experience here at Marquette, but here are a couple of the top ones:
How to control my emotions and how it feels to truly be myself no matter how uncomfortable or tough the situation might be
To stand up for what I believe in and what is right, even if that means I would be alone.
To take criticism and be able to swallow my pride.
Most importantly, what it truly means to dive in fully into life and roll with the punches.
What are your post-graduation plans? Riehl: Either law school at Marquette, commercial real estate in D.C., or work for Kelly in D.C. (a third party administrator for insurance).