Sept. 25, 2012
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Junior Aubrey Coleman has scored four goals — one off the team lead — for the University of Iowa field hockey program. The Mickleton, N.J., native has helped the Hawkeyes to a 7-2 start to their season and a No. 11 national ranking.
After scoring six goals in your first two seasons, you already have four goals in 2012. What has been the key to your early success?
Coleman: The determination of the team is very high, and we have high expectations. Having that drive behind me has created a large amount of energy toward goals, and as a forward, one of your biggest responsibilities is to finish for the team. That’s your job, and that’s what I see it as this year; it’s expected of me and nothing less.
You scored a hat trick in the 6-0 victory over Pacific on Sept. 9. When you have two goals during a game, is a hat trick on your mind?
Coleman: No, it’s more about finishing. You’re definitely thinking about the next goal, but a hat trick is just a name and label. If I was at three goals, I would be going for four. I’m always shooting for the next one. I am shooting for the team. If I am not in a position to score, I’m trying to set up the next goal with an assist.
Being from New Jersey, what is it that attracted you to the University of Iowa and its field hockey program?
Coleman: The program’s long tradition and history. On the East Coast field hockey is really big, but in the Midwest not a lot of people know field hockey, especially in Iowa. For a program to thrive so much off of its fan base is something that is really special. I noticed it right when I came here.
Iowa is among the Big Ten and national leaders in scoring. What has been the key to the team’s offensive success thus far this season?
Coleman: We have a returning lineup all over the field. We have worked on our offensive penalty corners, which has been a key to our scoring. It’s something we have been really focusing on this year. The execution of each corner — we make it mandatory that we finish or score as many as we can on our opportunities. It’s being there and filling your role — we’ve all taken the initiative to fill our role really well.
What does it say about the team to have such a balanced scoring attack with three players sharing the team lead in goals?
Coleman: It says we know our role and know it is not pinpointed on one person that has the expectations to be the goal scorer on the team. It is spreading the wealth and spreading that energy because everybody has the opportunity to score.
Iowa is hosting the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, how much are you looking forward to having the tournament in Iowa City at Grant Field?
Coleman: It gives me chills when I think about it because of how excited I am and how much we look forward to the Big Ten Tournament every year. For it to be at Grant Field is something that is really special. It is a big year for us with the team having high expectations. It’s amazing with the returning team we have that we get to play the tournament at home and have our fan base. Playing at Grant Field will give us an extra amount of energy, which will be needed because any given team can win the tournament.
How motivated is this group to make the 27th appearance in the NCAA tournament?
Coleman: We’re motivated more than you can ever imagine. We have the highest expectations since I have been here. It is in the back and forefront of our minds every day. We don’t expect anything less than to make the tournament, but we are pushing and pushing to be in the Elite Eight. That’s the least of our expectations to just make the NCAA tournament because of what we have behind us this year.
After winning three consecutive Big Ten Tournament titles, the Hawkeyes have gone three years without a crown. What is it going to take to bring the hardware back to Iowa City?
Coleman: It is going to take a high level of competitiveness and execution at practice every single day and having trust in each other that we can go through with it. It’s not just on the weekend on game days, it’s every single day from here on out.
This is an anniversary year for Title IX. How has that legislation affected your life as a student-athlete?
Coleman: It is something we don’t realize every day, that we have this opportunity as field hockey players and women at the University of Iowa. It has definitely affected me to the point where since I was a little girl I was able to dream of playing Division I field hockey. My mom or grandmother might not have had those opportunities. The opportunities we were given surpasses anything in the past because of someone our team respects and honors in Dr. Christine Grant.