Q&A with Adrienne Ostroff
Senior goalkeeper Adrienne Ostroff and the third-ranked Virginia field hockey team open its 2011 campaign this weekend with two home games. The Cavaliers welcome VCU for a 5 p.m. contest Friday before playing host to No. 8 Penn State at 1 p.m. Sunday. All games are played at the University Hall Turf Field and are free of charge. Ostroff, a native of Blue Bell, Pa., recently caught up with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the preseason, the team’s chemistry, her favorite classes at UVa and her advice to future Cavaliers.
Question: How has preseason training been for you and the team?
Ostroff: This preseason was totally different from my other three. Being the oldest was different, and it was just a totally different dynamic with all the new players. We (the three seniors) were really the only ones who knew what to expect with the fitness test and the high intensity practices. We have just been through it so many times. As a senior, it’s about keeping the freshmen motivated and letting them know the end is near. But preseason is about staying focused and keeping field hockey as your top priority.
Question: What will it be like to actually play some games this weekend?
Ostroff: As much as we can scrimmage ourselves, it’s totally different when you play another team. Once you really get out there you have the butterflies and the adrenaline, and all the other factors that go into a game that you don’t have in practice. So it’s going to be really interesting to see how everyone plays together. It will be fun to see the whole team out there.
Question: What are you looking to see out of VCU and Penn State?
Ostroff: One of Coach Madison’s biggest strengths is that she focuses on one game at a time. She only thinks about the next game. She really helps to keep that focus. In the past, one of our biggest weaknesses is that we have played to the level of our opponent. We really step up in big games and play down in the not-so-big games. One of the good things about having a totally new team is that the freshmen don’t necessarily know which is which right now. There is not as much talk about our opponents as there is about what we can do to improve ourselves in practice.
Question: How would you describe the team chemistry?
Ostroff: With the freshmen, they are always a little lost the first couple weeks. But especially that last week of preseason, everyone has gotten close. The upperclassmen are close just from playing together the last couple of years. The chemistry is really good; it’s one of the best I have seen in the last four years. Coach Madison doesn’t just recruit a certain type of player on the field, but a player who can succeed off the field as well. I think all of us really compliment each other.
Question: What are the best and worst things about being a goalkeeper?
Ostroff: The best part is you get to be a leader on the field. You are the only one who can see everything; not even the coaches can see everything. It’s your job to be communicating. That is definitely the best part – feeling like you have to be a leader. It’s a responsibility but it’s an opportunity. The worst part is if a goalie makes a mistake it can totally change the tone of the game. The hardest thing in goalkeeping is bouncing back mentally. That moment right after a goal is scored is really telling of how a game is going to change.
Question: Can you believe you are a fourth year already? How was your last first day of class?
Ostroff: It was weird to think about it like that. My dad actually said that to me the other day. It’s just weird. It took three years how to finally figure out to organize my books!
Question: What is your major? What do you want to do after graduation?
Ostroff: I am majoring in math with a minor in French. I am studying to become an actuary. It’s a special kind of statistician and the whole profession is about accessing risk and protecting it. It’s basically about using statistics from the past to predict the future. You can work in insurance or in consulting. I want to work in consulting; there are a couple of firms in France I would be interested in. Otherwise I think I will end up in D.C. or New York.
Question: What has been your favorite class at UVa?
Ostroff: Probably my French conversation class. We didn’t have one test the entire semester. But you had to go everyday and participate. My professor would give us a topic and we just had to discuss it. Or she would assign us a project to work on with other members of the class. It definitely helped my French more than any other class just because speaking is the only way to improve. My all-time favorite class was the French class I took in Paris two summers ago. I studied there for a month and every class was held in a different monument.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Ostroff: I love to watch movies and TV and read. Everyone on the team is really into watching entire seasons of TV shows. Right now Britt (Knouse) and I are watching Pretty Little Liars because my 14-year old cousin showed it to me earlier this summer. My favorite show ever is Modern Family and I have already watched every one of those. We saw Crazy Stupid Love and that was really good, and we just saw One Day. The movie was just as depressing as the book!
Question: What are you going to remember most about playing field hockey at UVa?
Ostroff: That moment in a super intense game when everyone realizes we are going to win – but it’s not going to be easy. The times when you score and you know you are going to prevail.
Question: What advice would you give future Virginia field hockey players?
Ostroff: Everybody always said it to me but I didn’t realize how true it really is and that is how fast it really goes. Don’t waste time being overwhelmed. I definitely did. Try to look past those moments and take a breath so you can move on and not lose all that time being overwhelmed. Don’t take it for granted.