Senior Haley Carpenter and the third-ranked Virginia field hockey team (4-0) face two tough non-conference opponents this weekend in Norfolk, Va. The Cavaliers will take on No. 12 Ohio State at 11 a.m. Saturday and No. 9 Syracuse at 12 p.m. Sunday. Carpenter, a native of Virginia Beach, Va., recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about preparing for the Buckeyes and Orange, the team chemistry and her summer internship in New York City.
Question: The team had two wins last weekend over Old Dominion and Northwestern. Is there still room for improvement?
Carpenter: Always. This past weekend we weren't pulled together. Against Northwestern, we weren't really playing our game. We kept fighting down the center and that is not what we are taught to do, but the second half we pulled it back together. Coach told us if we wanted to win we had to work hard to get it because Northwestern was working harder than us. We came back scoring two goals to pull it out.
Question: What do you do between now and preparing for two more quality teams in Ohio State and Syracuse?
Carpenter: We need to work on our simple passes, instead of hitting the ball so much. Quick easy passes back and forth to each other, using the outside of the field. Hopefully we will have everyone on the same page.
Question: What will it mean to you playing close to home this weekend?
Carpenter: It's cool because my high school coach has been at most of the games we have played at ODU. People from back home will come to the games, that's kind of neat.
Question: How is the team chemistry this year?
Carpenter: It's good; we get along really well. From the start of preseason, I thought everyone picked up our game plan really quickly.
Question: What is your major?
Carpenter: English. I am looking into graduate school or possibly the one-year program in Commerce. Maybe even going back to New York, where I worked this summer.
Question: What was your internship this summer?
Carpenter: It was with Spike TV with MTV networks. I did production management, helped out with budgeting for all the shows Spike TV runs.
Question: How was living in New York?
Carpenter: It was really different than living in Charlottesville or Virginia Beach. It's busy all the time, I didn't really like it actually, as a place to live at least. But I met a lot of cool people though from some really good schools.
Question: What would your dream job be?
Carpenter: Something not in a cubicle. That is my only requirement!
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa thus far?
Carpenter: Literary theory. We have been talking about self and soul; it's been really interesting.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Carpenter: I play with my cat Dulce a lot. I also enjoy eating and hanging out with everyone on the team.
Question: What are you going to miss the most about playing field hockey at UVa?
Carpenter: I am definitely going to miss the team part of it; it has been the best thing about college, having a group of friends that are always behind you no matter what. Even if you are not best friends with them, you are still friends on and off the field; they are always going to be there for you.
Question: What advice would you give future Virginia student-athletes?
Carpenter: No regrets, do everything you want to do. If there is something you want to do, then go and do it because you are only going to have four years here.