Floor Vogels and the Virginia field hockey team got things off to a good start last weekend with two victories to open the season. This week, the sixth-ranked Cavaliers begin a five-game road trip at Providence Friday and at Old Dominion Monday. Vogels, a native of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to chat about coming to UVa at age 16, her role of the team and cheering on her native country at the Junior World Cup over the summer.
Question: You came to UVA last year at age 16. Was it a tough transition?
Vogels: It a little difficult at first because I didn't speak English that well. But, the age thing wasn't a big deal. I skipped two grades when I was really young so I am used to being with older people. The best thing about playing field hockey here is that are one team. There is no seniority. We play together.
Question: How old were you when you started playing?
Vogels: I was four or five and my mom played field hockey at a pretty high level, and so did my dad and my brother. I looked up to all of them and wanted to play. My parents would always play on Sunday and we would always go watch.
Question: What was your process like of deciding to come to the United States?
Vogels: I was 16 and I didn't know what I wanted to do yet or study. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to keep playing field hockey. They don't have athletics teams at universities in Holland. I knew I wanted to go out of the country and narrowed it down to the U.S. I looked at UVa and Boston University. I talked to Michele (Madison), she came to see me play, and I decided I wanted to go here.
Question: Have you figured out what you want to study yet?
Vogels: No, I am still undecided. But I really like economics and Spanish, so I might do something with that.
Question: How would you describe your role on the team?
Vogels: I feel like this girl who is always screaming. After games my voice is terrible. But my role is to organize and communicate.
Question: What is the best and worst part about being a defender?
Vogels: The best part is you can prevent scoring and also organize from the back, hit the ball and build up the attack. The worst part is if you make a mistake you're done, that's it. When the attack makes a mistake we can still prevent a goal.
Question: What was it like for you and fellow Netherlands native Charlotte van den Broek to watch your country win in the Junior World Cup?
Vogels: It was so much fun. I don't know any of the girls personally on the team but I knew some of them from playing against them. It was cool to hear Dutch again. We were screaming and cheering for them and it was especially awesome when they won. They played really well.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Vogels: I am pretty addicted to my computer and talk to my parents, friends and boyfriend back home. I play tennis - not so much anymore but when I was younger and had free time. I am always so tired now!