Women’s Field Hockey Profile: Andrea Lo, Part II
Part I of my interview with Andrea was on last Friday. In this part of the interview we delved into the mental and physical work it takes to be a college field hockey athlete. (Again, my parts are italicized, her parts are in bold).
So describe the intensity of the college field hockey team. What’s your workout regimen like?
It’s definitely waaaaay more intense then high school and anything I’ve ever done. During the season, we practice 4 days a week for 3 hours, and on top of that we have our game on the weekend. Add in weight lifting and running.
Plus we travel a few times during season so missing school and trying to catch up is a part of athlete life. We pretty much don’t have a social life during season because we’re so busy, and we don’t get to go out that often.
Spring (offseason) is always fun, but it has been way better this time. We used to have spring practices at 6am…absolutely brutal. This year we had it later in the afternoon…so it’s a lot better…plus we can go out the night before and have time to recover haha.
Was there anything in your game you really had to improve on? and how difficult was it for you to adjust to this new schedule?
First thing was the fitness. We really stress the fitness part; I had to just bear down and get in shape. As for the hockey part, I felt like I had a pretty good skill set, so I pretty much just practice practice. I mean, I’m still working on the same couple things even to this day. I’m going to be a senior this season and I’m still improving my game.
I understand you’ve made a switch from your traditional position?
I’ve always played forward, but since I came here I’ve been put at midfield. I actually like midfield better. I’m more of a passer/distributor then taking it myself .
I’m guessing forward is more of an attack mentality, to find the best shot–did you have any difficulty transitioning into a less aggressive role, or did you grow into it pretty easily?
I was pretty comfortable from the start which was surprising because I thought I’d have to make some big adjustments but it worked out nicely.
My coach has put me in the forward line a few times because I don’t mind switching positions, but if I had to choose, I’d go with mid.
I’m guessing that being a midfielder requires a lot more mental work, because forwards and defenders have to focus on one side and you have to sort of do both.
You’re basically the link between the two, and you’re on both defense and offense. So it’s more running, but you get a lot of touches on the ball.
Are there any set pieces you guys run? Do you have any favorite moves you like to put on your defender?
Well we have a lot of options for short corners, we’re still in the midst of perfecting them. My personal favorite move is Y dodge, you know when you go one on one with someone and pass it around them to yourself.
I’m a speedy player so it definitely works to my advantage haha.
It sounds like me playing basketball and dribbling it off their back…except I blow the layup.
I’m guessing in college there was a lot more emphasis on defense, now that you’re facing really good players–what type of skills did you have to learn to get better on that side?
Mostly timing, proper ways of tackling, footwork…
Tackling? You actually have to pull girls to the ground?
No, tackling as in how to use your stick to get the ball off their stick .I don’t know if you know the term channeling, where you’re patient and make them go to one side .
So you basically shadow them and force them to their weak side (like their off hand)?
Pretty much, and while you’re doing that…learn how to pressure them and try to take the ball.
So is it a lot of 1-on-1 play? Or do you guys play zones or other schemes? Like do you get assigned to a particular player.
We have checks, and we play man to man when we’re in our defensive circle, but most of the time we play zone coverage. There’s certain tactics and ways to play depending on the situation. Sometimes we want to pressure the team hard; other times we’ll play half court and just let them have time…it all depends on how the game is going.
There must be a lot of in-game adjustments.
Yeah, it’s all adjustments on the fly.
Part III coming up next week!
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