This week The Lafayette takes a timeout with field hockey defender and recent Patriot League defensive player of the week Caroline Turnbull.
Amy Hewlett: The team is off to a successful start, being 4-1 currently. What do you attribute the early success to?
Caroline Turnbull: It’s really our work rate on and off the field. During practices, we go 100% and we really challenge each other in every aspect of the game. With every play, we go as hard as we would in a real game which I think is really making us competitive and putting us in a good position.
AH: You were recently named Patriot League defensive player of the week. What has gone well for you that has led to your standout performances?
CT: I started off as a back last spring, so I’m fairly new to it. The whole team is really helping me with the transition and is behind me with everything I do. There are always teaching moments during practices; people will take me aside and really talk about what I could do better. The coaches are also really supportive and help me out.
AH: What position did you used to play?
CT: I used to play midfield. In high school I was center mid, and my freshman year I was side mid and also forward. During the spring they switched me over to right back. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I really like it and I think it’s awesome. The coaches did a really good job with figuring out where I would do best for the team.
AH: What else has been different about this year compared to your freshman year?
CT: Our team this year has an insane amount of depth. The freshmen came in really strong and fit and were ready to play. We really don’t have one player that is a standout, all of our players are equally good and able to fill the positions.
AH: Has the coaching staff or team implemented any new strategies this year?
CT: We’re playing with a different formation. Last year, we played with three backs and this year we have four. It’s working really well for us. Everyone really likes it and it surprisingly gives us a lot of forward movement. We have center [midfielders] and center backs really pushing up and getting us more aggressive in the circle.
AH: How has the new freshman class contributed to the team’s success so far?
CT: They came in ready and hungry. They were very determined to get on the starting positions or get into the game. They’re the fire under everyone’s butts.
AH: What are your team goals for the season?
CT: We really want a winning record this season and we want to host the Patriot League Tournament. That would mean we are the top team in the Patriot League. As of now, it seems very likely. Our first Patriot League game is this Saturday against Colgate and it’s a home game. We’re really excited and ready to work for that.
AH: Did you play any other sports?
CT: I used to play lacrosse, but then I tore my meniscus and got surgery on my ACL and meniscus during my freshman year of high school. After that, I just stuck with field hockey.
AH: What is your favorite part of being on a team here?
CT: I really like that I have a family to go to at all times of the day. Everyone is always there for each other. I know that no matter what, I have my team behind me and it’s really important to have that kind of community when you’re away from your immediate family.
AH: Why did you decide to come to Lafayette?
CT: It’s close enough to home that my parents can come to my games, and that was important to me. I really like the size of the school because I wasn’t interested in a big school. I also liked the intense athletics and the field hockey team here has always been pretty highly ranked. I met the team before and I liked the people and the atmosphere. I really liked the academics here because it is liberal arts but I can also be an engineer which is important.
AH: What is your favorite class at Lafayette?
CT: My favorite professor was from my freshman year. Professor Roth was my intro to engineering professor for my first semester. She really made it really interesting and exciting. She really opened my eyes and made me find a passion in engineering.
AH: Do you have any fun facts about yourself?
CT: My family and I are in a book for doctors about ACLs. I tore my ACL in sixth grade, and both of my sisters had torn both of their ACLs before me. My mom tore both of her ACLs, my aunt tore both of her ACLs, and my cousin tore one of his ACLs. They did a skeletal look at me and found out it’s actually genetic. I’m pretty much built to tear my ACLs. I have to do a lot of preventative exercises because of it. The book we’re in is trying to encourage non-invasive surgeries, but we are under a different name to protect our identities.