Senior Spotlight: Marissa Marsolek, Michael O’Neil, Brice Panning

Posted on April 14th, 2020 by

From left: Marissa Marsolek, Michael O'Neil, Brice Panning

The Gustavus athletics department will hear from spring sport senior student-athletes throughout the remainder of the semester, honoring those who are unable to participate in their final season of college athletics. 

Today’s Q&A with senior student-athletes include Marissa Marsolek (Savage) of softball, Michael O’Neil (Edina) of men’s tennis, and Brice Panning (Hamburg) of baseball.

Q: What can you share about your senior season being cut short?

MM: It is just really sad. I was abroad in the fall and was so looking forward to a fun spring season with my teammates. We practiced on that Thursday night with the possibility that our season could be cancelled, but it really was not real yet. Then less than 24 hours later, it was all done. It was crazy and I do not think that many of us have processed it even still.

MO: It’s tough for us because we have such a young team with lots of talent and it would’ve been really fun to see how good we could’ve gotten. With that said, I feel lucky that we got the first few weeks of our season in and made some great memories in that short time. I’m looking forward to cheering the guys on in the future.

BP: Missing my final season was definitely super sad because of the high expectations we had as a team. We wanted to prove that last year’s championship wasn’t a fluke, so not getting to accomplish that is the worst part about it.

Q: What is your favorite memory as a Gustavus student-athlete?

MM: My favorite memory of playing at Gustavus is when we beat Saint Ben’s in extra innings last year. Both teams were playing exceptionally well, making diving plays, getting clutch hits, and throwing out lead runners. It was so intense, making the victory even sweeter.

MO: My first two favorite memories I wasn’t even competing for, but beating Chicago to go to the Elite 8 freshman year and then beating Chicago again before getting stuck in a blizzard on the way home sophomore year were both very memorable. This year’s Fall ITA was also pretty special.

BP: My most memorable moment for sure is winning the conference in baseball and getting dog piled on.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

MM: I plan on taking a gap year and work in the mental health field. Then I hope to enter a graduate school program in psychology.

MO: I will be working for the Boston Consulting Group in their Minneapolis office starting in September.

BP: Hoping to become a strength and conditioning coach for local high schools, but that is depending on COVID-19.


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