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Sept. 17, 2014

Sophomore striker Caleigh Foust, who scored both of the game-winners in last weekend’s overtime thrillers against Louisville and Rutgers, sat down with to talk about last week’s games, this week’s showdown with No. 3 Duke as well as other on and off the field topics.

Congratulations on the overtime victories last weekend. What was it like out there on the field and being the one to close out those games?
“In the overtime, you could feel that all of us were really ready to push for it, to work hard to score. But you also kind of realize that we should have been pushing that hard during regulation as well. But we did fight there at the end of overtime. I think winning two overtime games like that gives us momentum and everyone will be ready for the next game against Duke. We need to fight hard from the beginning and not let it get to the point of overtime.”

What’s the feeling going into the game against Duke? Last year, you beat them in the regular season, but they knocked you out of the ACC Tournament last year.
“There’s a little bit of a revenge feel. Losing to them last year when it really mattered will give everyone that extra motivation going into the game. Even if there are times when we fall apart in the game, we will need to regroup and remember how important this game is and keep going.”

What did you do this summer to prepare for the season?
“I went home and was a nanny for a family for about a month while also starting my running [training]. I came back to Charlottesville in July because a lot of my teammates were taking summer courses and I wanted to be with my team making sure we were fit and ready to start the field hockey season in August. We ran about six out of seven days a week and we’d wake up early to get it out of the way. I trained at home alone last summer, so I was definitely more motivated with my teammates around to push me.”

Before you came back to Charlottesville, you also trained with USA Field Hockey High Performance. What was that experience like?
“It was a great experience playing with girls from all over the country and learning how different systems are run. There are about 10-15 practices before you’re chosen for the tournament, so you definitely get a feel for everyone else. It was a challenge to be able to play a different system than the one we use here but I think it’s good to find chemistry with different players.”

What was the one thing that you focused on during preseason camp to prepare for the season?
“At camp, I wanted to focus on the incoming first years and see the way they played. I know we’re a young team right now, so I think it’s good to use my strengths to work off of other people. For example, with Tara [Vittese], we have great chemistry on the field. I think it’s important to match up with someone like that.”

With only four seniors on the roster, what is the leadership like on this team?
“I think everyone on the team has fire in them. It’s just a matter of keeping everyone focused on what they need to work on. Everybody definitely has the ambition, though. During games, just a little pep talk from the seniors will push everyone to fight until the end.”

What’s your favorite thing about the sport of field hockey?
“My favorite thing is that you can always get better at something. There’s never a day where you do everything right. I like that I can always challenge myself to focus on one area at practice and try to improve.”

Did you play other sports growing up?
“I started playing field hockey in eight grade, but I played soccer and lacrosse until the end of middle school. I was looking to play lacrosse in college, but once I made the switch to field hockey I just liked it more.”

When did you start becoming a skilled field hockey player?
“I think playing in high school and playing for club is a lot different. Playing in high school was just a matter of seeing who’s fast and who has a little bit of skill running of the field. When I played club, I remember seeing other players and thinking `Wow, this girl has amazing stick skills.’ I think I realized I had potential and wanted to continue with the sport.

Entering your second year here at UVa, what major do you plan on declaring?
“I’m going to declare Media Studies as my major. I think I want to do something along the lines of broadcasting, either sports-related or otherwise. I don’t want to be behind a desk; I want to do something different. My godmother is in the production industry, so I’ve gotten to see what she does with different companies and advertisers. I think that’s something I’d really enjoy.”

What’s one class that you’re really enjoying taking this fall?
“Right now I’m taking a Comm Law class taught by Sherri Moore. She makes the class really interesting. I think it’s a class that anyone can benefit from. You learn a lot of useful everyday things.”

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