Women’s Field Hockey Profile: Andrea Lo, Part III

Posted by: Avinash on Friday, May 30th, 2008

California, Michigan

Today we conclude our three part piece covering the women’s field hockey team with upcoming senior Andrea Lo. If you’re new, you can catch up by reading Part I and Part II here. In this part we discuss the team dynamic, her favorite experiences and the bright future of this team. We’ll be back to regular programming next Monday after my week long graduation break.

Part III

How close are you to your teammates? Do you guys ever clash or are you all pretty tight with each other?

We all get along very well…even with the younger classes. It was much different my freshman year because we definitely weren’t close to our seniors, but this year especially we’re all very close.

We just have a great group of girls…very supportive and helpful of on another…our team chemistry is great.

Have any fun team/practice experiences on and off the field? You blog a lot about them, but are there any that really stand out to you?

Well during the preseason in August (before school starts) we practice everyday for 2 weeks to prepare for our season. Since it’s always pretty hot, we’ll take out a large plastic sheet and do slip and slide for a practice…we usually do that every year.

We’ll get crazy and do relays and other dumb things, but it’s all fun.

Off the field, I love going on trips. Staying at hotels and getting free meals is great. Plus sometimes we get days off so we can sight see and do touristy things.

Which places did you like the most? And which ones do you never want to go back to?

Freshman year we went to Maryland…so we got to drive around DC…shop…go to Georgetown…drive by the White House and the monuments. That was pretty cool.

Unfortunately for us, most of our conference is in the North Carolina area, so we always go there every year. We go to Davidson the most, and I can pretty much memorize the route to the hotel. It’s really not a fun place to go to because there’s nothing around there.

So there’s no Pac-10 in field hockey? That seems pretty strange to have a conference not organized by location.

Well our conference is called “Nor-Pac”…and it’s only us, Stanford and UOP from the west. Hockey isn’t big over here, so they had to pair us up with weaker Eastern teams.

Haha, the Eastern teams are weaker?

Well those put into our conference, yes. The best teams are from the east–Maryland, Wake Forest, Duke, UNC–they’re not in Nor-Pac. They see the West Coast as weaker, so they put us with weaker teams…and that’s frustrating because the level of competition during our season is lower.

If we had strong teams in our conference, I think we’d be much stronger. But we are definitely a team that is capable of being up there with the top–last season we beat Michigan, a top 5 team.

Damn, you think there’s some East Coast bias at work?

Oh yeah. I mean field hockey is starting to become more popular over here. Girls are discovering the game at earlier ages, but it’s all on the East Coast. They start a lot younger over there, just like ice hockey and lacrosse.

Yeah, I think soccer still holds girl’s hearts out West, but it’s good to see field hockey make its mark.

How is next year’s team looking?

Strong. We only graduated 2 seniors, so the majority of our team is still here. It’s good because we’re used to playing with each other.

You lost to dreaded Stanford in your last game, so I figure they’re the biggest competition you’ll face next year in your conference.

Oh yeah, we have a huge rivalry with them. To lose to them in our conference final was devastating. But we have to put that behind us and look ahead.

You were ranked over them too right?

Well we both weren’t ranked in the national poll..but we were on top of them. But I give them credit; they’ve built a pretty decent team over the past three years. They’re tough, so it’s always an exciting game.

Any favorite on-field moments/performances for you? When did you really feel like your game was shining?

Well, beating Michigan was awesome because it was the first time in program history that we beat a top 5 team.

And sophomore year we were playing a night game at home on a football day. We were down 3-0 at halftime and we managed to come back and beat them 4-3. There were so many people watching our game since they were coming out of the stadium. It was amazing…and when we won, people rushed the field and went crazy. It was a surreal moment.

As for personal performance, I think there several road games where I just felt absolutely great…I was getting lots of chances and things were just clicking for me…not sure the exact games. But I think most games I feel confident and ready to go and I play a decent game.

So it depends a lot on you getting your touches.

Yeah, some games I won’t touch the ball for minutes at a time, so you have to focus on where you are off the ball and how to support your teammates.

Is this going to be your last year doing competitive field hockey? i don’t remember if there are any leagues after college.

I’m done after this year since we’re only eligible for four years. I don’t think I’ll keep playing competitive hockey after…the next step people take is playing for the national team. But I don’t want to do that.

So what career are you aiming for?

Well, I’m a legal studies major, but I really don’t know what I want to focus on; I think I want to go into marketing or something like that, or do something sports-related.

How do you motivate yourself when things feel too tough? Do you rely a lot on your friends and teammates?

It was tough obviously my first year because I was homesick and missed my friends; even second year I had down times. I would talk to my friends from home a lot (I still do) but they really helped me out, and the team is always a supportive shoulder–the girls are really understanding. That was the main thing.

I mean now I’m totally fine. I’m having a blast, I don’t get homesick anymore, and I’m just enjoying myself every day.

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