Third year Adrienne Ostroff and the third-ranked Virginia field hockey team open the home portion of its schedule this weekend. The Cavaliers welcome No. 16 Old Dominion for a 1 p.m. contest Sunday, which is also Cavman's Crew Day and will feature free face painting and popcorn; all youth are invited to participate. On Monday, UVa hosts Northwestern in a 3 p.m. game at the University Hall Turf Field. Ostroff, a native of Blue Bell, Pa., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the two wins on opening weekend, the best thing about being a goalkeeper, and her ambition to one day live and work in Paris.
Question: What did you think of last weekend and getting two wins in the first two games of the year?
Ostroff: Overall, it went really well. It was exciting to see this team play together for the first time. It's always really difficult when we have a lot of new players coming in but I think the first years are doing really well. They are picking up the system, which is hard to grasp at first. We definitely have a lot of potential for this year and I think we can play a lot better than we did this past weekend. But it was fun to actually play a real game.
Question: And you have two solid teams coming in this weekend for the home opener.
Ostroff: It's really nice that we have a whole week to prepare. We had a really hard practice on Tuesday. It will be fun to play at home and have our fans there and just to have home field advantage. We haven't played Northwestern since I have been here, so I don't know much about them. Old Dominion is always a tough game; they are physical and always do pretty well with defending us.
Question: What are the team's goals for this season?
Ostroff: The team goal is just to live up to our potential. Every year we have done better and better but there is so much potential on this team. It's a young team. The ultimate goal is the national championship and this is a year we can do it if everybody keeps working hard and stays motivated.
Question: What about your personal goals?
Ostroff: Keep working hard and be a leader on and off the field. Now that I'm a third year it's cool to see it from a different prospective; I am not the newbie anymore. It's fun to see the first years come in and help them get acclimated to the team. I love our team and whether I'm playing or not, it is so fun to be a part of it.
Question: What are the best and worst parts about being a goalkeeper?
Ostroff: The best part is your team feeds off of your energy and emotion. It can stem from you in a good way if you are positive and confident, then that spreads throughout the rest of the team and can change the feel of the game. In the same way, you can spread negative energy. If a field player makes a mistake, they can make up for it in the next play. If a goalkeeper makes a mistake, then it's a goal and I think that is really difficult mentally to overcome. You have to stay positive in games as well as in practice.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Ostroff: In the summer, I was outdoors a lot. We went hiking and fishing.
Question: What is your major?
Ostroff: Math and French. I have always been interested in math. This summer I spent six weeks in Europe, visiting the Dutch girls on our team and then studying in Paris. And I really fell in love with Paris. I want to live and work there after I graduate.
Question: What did you study while you were in Paris?
Ostroff: I took a French class in spoken grammar and I took a history of Paris class where we would go to a different monument each day and learn about it.
Question: What is your career goal?
Ostroff: I want to be an actuary and work with insurance companies, which is just a lot of number crunching, which I love. And there are a couple of French companies that also have offices in the U.S. I would work in France, hopefully in Paris, for a couple of years and then come back and work for them in the U.S.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa thus far?
Ostroff: All of my French classes.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Ostroff: The Lawn, when you're walking out away from the Rotunda. I always do the historical tours with (assistant coach Alex Street) and when Thomas Jefferson built the school he wanted so many things to stay the same. When you come into school you are walking toward the Rotunda, toward the library and toward knowledge, and when you graduate, you are walking out into the world, toward the mountain. I think that is really cool.