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Junior Kim Kastuk and the Virginia field hockey team opens the 2009 campaign at 3 p.m. Friday against Miami (Ohio) and the weekend concludes with a game against No. 11 Penn State at 1 p.m. Sunday. Both games are at the University Hall Turf Field and are free of charge. Kastuk recently chatted with VirginiaSports.com about transferring from Boston University, preseason training, her musical talents and kicking off the season.

Quesiton: Are you excited for Friday?
Kastuk:
I don’t want to be too anxious because I know the season is going to fly by but I can’t wait. I think we all are looking forward to the season opener. It should be a lot of fun.

Question: What made you decide to transfer from Boston University to Virginia?
Kastuk:
BU dropped my major of physical education and health and only offered it as a master’s program, and I really wanted to get my undergraduate degree in physical education. UVa offers a great five-year program where you can also get a master’s, so that was the main appeal.

Question: Any other appealing reasons?
Kastuk:
The warm weather was very appealing coming from Boston, along with the school spirit and sense of community. Getting the chance to play in the ACC, the toughest conference for field hockey. I heard great things about Michele and the coaching staff here and knew I would really be pushed as an athlete to be the best. Those things are all what drew me here.

Question: How did you get started playing field hockey?
Kastuk:
I never intended to play field hockey but my gym teacher in middle school, who was also the coach, told me they really need a goalkeeper. I was an athletic kid and they really needed someone to play on the middle school team. She asked me to come try out, and I did. I showed up for preseason and everything worked out.

Question: What do you like most about playing goalkeeper?
Kastuk:
I like the intensity and the pressure of it. One bad play can cost you a game. At the same time, if you are playing well, you can keep your team in the game no matter what happens out in the field. It’s awesome you can have that much of an impact. That’s what I love about it. Also – just being able to see the whole field; to watch things unfold and see things develop.

Question: How has preseason been in terms of getting to know each other?
Kastuk:
Preseason has been awesome. Just as a transfer, it has been good just to get to know the girls. I have had a ton of fun with them. It’s a great group. The trip to Boston was a great experience and good bonding time.

Question: What about the technical aspect of training and practices?
Kastuk:
Practice has been intense and I feel like I have development so much as a player in these past two weeks. I am looking forward to getting out on the field and competing. It’s been difficult and challenging but at the same time very rewarding and a lot of fun.

Quesiton: How would you describe the team chemistry this season?
Kastuk:
It’s great. Honestly in the locker room you don’t know the first years from the fourth years. For me, being new, everyone has looked out for me and asked if I need anything. Very friendly and very caring. Everyone gets along and everyone enjoys each other.

Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Kastuk:
I love basketball, so I play pick-up games whenever I can. I like to be with my friends in general and whatever time I have with them outside of studying and field hockey I try to take advantage of. I love listening to music, especially before games.

Question: Is there anything in particular you listen to before a game?
Kastuk:
I really like Eminem, he has a lot of good songs. I mix in some other things but I always get one good Eminem song in there somewhere.

Question: Do you have any musical talents?
Kastuk:
I taught myself how to play the drums and I had a little band in high school that I was a part of. Nothing every came of it but it was tons of fun. I love playing the drums and still play when I can – obviously it’s hard because I don’t have a drum set here. Sometimes when I am home we will go play for old time’s sake.

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