Scopaz '00 excels in field hockey
With her quick knack for putting the ball into the goal during 18 Big Green games, field hockey rookie Lauren Scopaz '00 has proved to be Dartmouth's phenom of the season.
Scopaz, who is The Dartmouth's rookie of the fall, finished off the fall season with 12 goals and four assists for a total of 28 points overall. She is Dartmouth's leading scorer and the fourth highest overall scorer, after three women from Princeton.
Scopaz spent most of her time starting at center forward this season with great success.
Field Hockey Captain Kelly Hannigan '97 said "playing with [Scopaz] is excellent."
"She has a tremendous work ethic," she said. "She has the potential to be a phenomenal player."
Hannigan said Scopaz "is an excellent competitor every day and in games."
"You can't ask for more than she gives for the team through her work ethic and her play."
Scopaz said although she was recruited to play field hockey, she did not expect to be playing that much her freshman year.
"It is definitely nothing I expected," she said. "I came in hoping I would get at least a fair amount of playing time and contribute something to the team."
Being a major part of the Big Green team was needed -- because the team only has 15 players.
"All the freshmen had to contribute," Scopaz said. "I was stuck there on the field and I was, like: wow, this is pretty cool."
"It was a big jump from the high school level of play," she said.
"Everyone wants to work hard so we can be good which is a nice change from high school," Scopaz said. "The intensity was much greater but ... it was still fun to practice."
But Scopaz is more than just a great player, Hannigan said.
"She is so much fun," she said. "The whole group is so much fun. She's a great person and so much fun on the field as well."
Scopaz said she thinks the team played very well despite its very young members.
"We started off well playing together," she said. "It's kind of difficult your first few games and as the season went on we got better playing. I don't think our record accurately displays how good a team we were this year but I think that was partially due to our inexperience because we were so young."
"I love all the team members," Scopaz said. "All of the freshmen would agree [the team] all welcomed us easily and were very friendly in the beginning."
Scopaz said she is optimistic about the team for next year.
"The freshmen got good playing time this year so we gained a lot of experience and should definitely to pull off some of those one point losses" next year.
The team practiced almost every day of the week during the fall.
Scopaz, who said she is leaning towards engineering or something "more math and science" said she was able to manage her studying and playing time in the fall.
"It is definitely a lot harder but when you know you have a limited amount of time you manage your time well," she said. "I'm kind of used to it. You can't study all the time anyway."
Despite this, Scopaz said she is looking forward to the off-season winter term.
"Having a little bit more time is definitely nice," she said.
Scopaz, who hails from Pelham, N.Y., has been playing field hockey since her ninth grade but said she was initially "anti-field hockey because you had to wear a skirt and all that."
"I originally hated field hockey ... I started playing king of late but I picked it up because it's a lot like soccer and I've played soccer since I was six years old," she said.
Scopaz played hockey in high school with her twin sister, Kristen Scopaz '00, who also attends Dartmouth. Both were recruited for field hockey but only Lauren Scopaz has been playing this fall.
"My sister was injured this fall," Lauren Scopaz said. "She had ACL [Anterior Crucial Ligament] re-constructive surgery ... in June."
Although Kristen Scopaz has been practicing with her sister, she was unable to play this season but should join the Big Green team next fall.
"I am definitely looking forward to playing with her in the fall," Lauren Scopaz said. "We play well together. It was very difficult [for her] being on the sidelines."
Lauren Scopaz participated with her sister in the Futures program run by the US Field Hockey Association during her high school years.
Lauren Scopaz said the opportunity to play with top level players in helped her prepare for the collegiate level of play.
With winter training and spring practices ahead, Scopaz will have time to improve upon her already well-tuned skills before returning with the Big Green next fall for what is sure to be another successful season.