One on One with Anna Rowthorn-Apel '18
This week, I sat down with Anna Rowthorn-Apel ’18, who plays for Big Green field hockey team. Rowthorn-Apel won Ivy League Rookie of the Week after scoring two goals in Dartmouth’s win over the University of Pennsylvania — the first Big Green field hockey player to earn the honor since Ali Savage ’15 in 2011.
How did it feel to be named Ivy League Rookie of the Week?
ARA: Such a weird feeling, but definitely awesome and a boost of confidence. I wanted to tell all my friends back home on my field hockey team because I knew they would be so proud of me.
Was there something that stood out as a difference for you this past week?
ARA: I realized that in the game, if I just put in the extra work and get to the place I have to be and put my stick down, I can be there for those rebounds. In practice the day before, I was missing a lot of those shots that were going by the goal and I could’ve gotten those if I just had my stick down. Coming into the game, I made it my personal goal on our game sheet to keep my stick down in the circle and be there for those rebounds. The whole game, that was in my head because I kept thinking to myself that’s an easy way to get goals and boost my confidence because usually, as a forward, there’s no stats other than scoring. I just kept thinking I could get an easy goal from those balls flying by me and really help the team.
What has been your biggest adjustment being at college?
ARA: Getting such professional coaching has been amazing. I’ve always had just such up-and-down coaching. Being on a team where everyone cares and everyone is really good and into the sport is a really big adjustment. In Maryland, people play just for fun and aren’t really into it, but all of these girls have been playing for years. They’ve been recruited and just really want to play — they aren’t doing it for fun or to stay in shape. They’re here because they want to play and want to win, the same goals I have.
How do you think coming in as an athlete has helped you?
ARA: I think definitely always having stuff to do and not feeling lost. I have my group of friends and we’ve been here for so long. We were here for preseason three weeks early so I got to know the campus really well so I didn’t feel lost when it came to classes or anything. There are seven freshmen so having six automatic friends, with five of them living in the Choates with me, is just so nice. You can always go eat with them, and you don’t have to worry about not having other friends, I mean it’s so nice to make friends outside of the team of course, but you’re not having to worry that you’ll eat alone, which I feel is a huge fear for freshmen coming into college.
What are you looking forward to most for the rest of the season?
ARA: We’re halfway through the season and we were on a three-game winning streak but we just lost to the University of Maine. I think that was a little fluke. I’m excited to play more games and try to continue this winning streak. Teams are going to look at our record and say, ‘oh they’re 3-6,’ so they may underestimate us. I really want to come out the rest of the season and just bang out these games, coming out with intensity, and show them that we’re not a 3-6 team, that we’re more than that.
Did you play any other sports in high school?
ARA: Lacrosse is huge in Maryland so I just did that for fun. I really enjoyed it because there was really no pressure. I had been playing field hockey since first grade, so this was a nice change. It did make me appreciate field hockey more because when I was playing lacrosse I missed playing field hockey.
What got you into field hockey?
ARA: I lived in [Uruguay], where [my school] required you to play field hockey. There was only one girl in my whole grade who didn’t play and she had to get special permission. We would practice three times a week in first grade. I didn’t really take it seriously until third or fourth grade and then I actually loved it. Girls didn’t play any sports there. You never saw a girl playing soccer or basketball. I started to love it and then we moved back here. Immediately, we wanted to find a field hockey club. It was hard at first because it is not that big in Maryland, but once I found it I just continued playing.
What is something that most people don’t know about you?
ARA: I’m really big into hiking and doing outdoorsy things. I love running. I run half marathons all the time. I love just being out in nature. On my off day, even though we’ve played a whole week of field hockey and we’re exhausted, I’ll still go on a hike or something. I just went on a six-hour hike. And then with half marathons, I love the fact that when you’re running you can appreciate the scenery. I think when I get older, one thing I want to do is try to run a half marathon in every state.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.