Before the University of Delaware field hockey season got started we had the pleasure to talk to a couple of the players on the team.
The first player we interviewed from the field hockey team was junior forward Lotte de Koning.
De Koning had 10 goals, five assists,25 points,53 shots,29 shots on the goal, and two game-winners in the 2018 season.
The junior forward received many accolades for her play in the 2018 season which includes CAA Player of the Year, All-CAA First Team, UD Alumni Association Team MVP, and Team Offensive Player of the Year.
In her freshman year, de Koning was named CAA’s Rookie of the Year for the 2017 season where she had nine goals, eight assists, 26 points,69 shots,37 shots on the goal, and four game-winners.
The former midfielder was named to the Preseason All-CAA Team before the 2019 season began.
Before she came to the University of Delaware, de Koning helped guide her club team in the Netherlands to a National Championship in the 2013-2014 season.
De Koning talks about everything from trying to be the best teammate she can be to the adjustments she had to make to her game when she arrived at the University of Delaware.
Check out it below!
How did you start playing Field Hockey?
I started playing when I was six because my parents played the sport when they were younger and thought it was a fun sport.
It was kind of like a family tradition?
Yup. Yeah, It was a thing we did.
How did you start playing the particular position you play?
(Note: De Koning used to play midfielder and switched to forward this season)
I had a tendency to run a lot with the ball and I liked defense and offense which is why I started playing midfielder, because you do a little bit of both. Now I am switching to be an offender because of some limitations with my legs. So, that is why I am switching to offense right now.
There is a good mix of veterans and young players on this team with the team having a lot of success in the past five years. How do you help to mentor the younger players on the team where they do not feel as much pressure on the field?
I think to start off with I hope or try to be an example on the field and try to work hard every day. Just work hard every day to make myself and my teammates better. So I hope that is a way to inspire them. Also, I hope I can inspire them to love the game and I know it is a lot. This experience is a lot but I hope that even though it is a lot, that they can still enjoy the game.
After earning Rookie of the Year in your freshman season and CAA Player of the Year in your sophomore season, what goals do you have for yourself this year?
My goal this year is to be the best teammate that I can be. The individual stuff is fun but the main thing why I am here is to be part of the team and to accomplish something as a team. To hope we can be the best team we can be and where I can help push the others around me every day on the field to get better.
What is the best part of being on a team through the highs and lows?
I think the highs and lows are the best part of being on a team because you can’t have all the highs, you need to have all the lows too. I think being on a team and going through that journey together where you are seeing the lows but also seeing the highs and just being there for each other each step of the way. I think that is the best part of being on a team.
Describe some of the highlights of your athletic career.
One of the best accomplishments was when my team and I won the Dutch National Championship ( guided Pinoké to a 2013-14 national championship) which very cool. I think my freshman year when we went to the sweet sixteen which was a fun thing and made us all very eager for more.
Delaware fell in the CAA title game last season, I would think that would make you guys hungrier for this year, right?
Yeah, definitively. Last year didn’t end the way we wanted it to which yeah everyone is very eager.
Delaware always had the other colleges chase them and now you are the one chasing the champions.
Yeah, that’s true. I think this year we are really focusing on ourselves and our team. Just working hard and just do the best we can do.
You are majoring in Neuroscience, what do plan to do with that after you graduate?
I either one to go to med school at home and study neurology or I want to go in the pharmaceutical business.
What has a former or current coach taught you, that you still use today on or off the playing field?
I think to believe in yourself but it also good to take a step back in order to take a step forward.
What adjustments did you have to make to your play to adjust to the college level?
We practice a lot more here. So it is definitely asking more physically which means a lot more running and a weight room. I had never seen a weight room before, so those were some major adjustments. I used to play midfielder and now forward which is a bit of adjustment.
What was the adjustment coming from another country?
( Note: de Koning is from the Netherlands)
Well, coming from the Netherlands, I had no clue what states were there. I am very happy I ended up here but the languages are of course very different. Especially, on the field there are certain terms you do not know coming in and that is weird. The type of play is kind of different, it is more physical then at home. But all of my teammates are very helpful in that adjustment.
What is a typical day for you when the season is in full force?
It is mainly school and field hockey. I think I’ll get up, I stretch a bit, get breakfast, go to school and eat lunch somewhere on the way. Sometimes, you are not able to go somewhere and eat lunch which means you bring lunch and eat it between classes. Then go to treatment, practice, go home, eat dinner with your roommates and you want to go to bed. Or do some homework too and then the day starts all over again.