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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

Seven Questions with Katie George

Katie George ’24 drives upfield in a match against Salisbury.
Katie George ’24 drives upfield in a match against Salisbury.

Katie George ’24, a junior forward for the Middlebury field hockey team, is coming off a 37 point All-American season that culminated in her winning her second national championship with the Panthers. She sat down this week to chat about the upcoming season and some of her favorite things about Middlebury.

Captain Rudolph: After a perfect season, what goals has the team set besides doing it again?

Katie George: We do not set a goal to have a perfect season. The way Coach DeLorenzo runs it and the way we run it is with the motivation to look at the challenge right in front of us so that we can overcome it individually. This year Coach has been saying that we’re here to play the greatest game that we possibly can. Now what that looks like is constantly changing with every new game our opponents put out something different but regardless she wants us to come out of every single game having played the greatest possible game we could have. 

CR: Do you have any funny pregame rituals or in game traditions that you always do?

KG: Before every game as a team we do a dance circle with a song selected by the senior class of each new year. And then as the season goes along we add a little routine to that. A quick anecdote to this: Last year our song was “Starships” by Nicki Minaj and like any other game, we were doing our team dance circle before the national championship game. My role of course was to do the worm and as I hit the floor I quickly learned that we were dancing on a very different surface than usual and I ended up splitting my chin open in the process. With blood rushing down my neck minutes before gametime, the athletic trainer told me I needed stitches but there was no time with the game coming up. Coach DeLorenzo looked at me without saying anything. And so, what ended up happening was [a doctor there] got his hands on some super glue and glued my chin shut between the first and second quarter of the national championship. So that is my pregame horror story, but usually we have a fun dance circle to pump us up before each game and this year the song is #thatPOWER by and Justin Bieber and you know I’ll be bringing the worm back!

CR: If you could play a different sport at Midd what would it be?

KG: I would say probably lacrosse. I've played since I was eight years old and I used to actually want to play in college. Unfortunately, I had a coach in high school that ruined the sport for me. Fortunately, I actually started field hockey my first year of high school and it was the newest thing to me because I had been playing lacrosse and ice hockey for forever. Quickly, I decided to stick with this new and exciting sport, and here I am now loving field hockey!

CR: You have won two national championships, had a perfect season, been elected as an all American, and so much more in your short time at Middlebury. As an upperclassman now, how do you use your experience to motivate teammates?

KG: When motivating teammates I do not necessarily draw on my own individual accolades or our team achievements as much as think about the upperclassmen that led me when I was an underclassman and the culture that they cultivated. They created the kind of comradery that inspires but also pushes you to want to be better and that's what I try to emulate when I'm with the new underclassmen. I want to be just like the upperclassmen that have made my experience at Middlebury so welcoming and easy to adjust to and really just fun. I want my new teammates to be able to experience those same things as me. 

CR: What’s the best dining hall meal and where?

KG: I’m going to have to go with a meal that everyone really wants post practice after we’ve been running really hard and we’re just starving. We as a team love General Tso’s chicken with white rice. It really just hits the spot. We tend to eat in Ross more, but I personally prefer the rice in Atwater!

CR: Where is your favorite place to go with friends when you have free time at Middlebury?

KG: Right away I think of the preseason when it’s super hot in Middlebury and we’ve been having practices all day, and then I love going to swimming holes. My favorite place for that specifically is near the trail on Dog Team Road that connects to the New Haven River because we can get the whole team down there, everyone’s hanging out, the water is super cold and refreshing, and it’s a great way to build chemistry with the new incoming teammates. 

CR: Who’s your biggest field hockey role model?

KG: I don’t think I have an individual person in mind because being on the team has exposed me to a group of upperclassmen that all have qualities that I would want to see in myself. The different types of people handling adversity and what they’ve been through and collectively putting that together to lead by example with clarity of their vision for the team really makes me want to be a better person. It’s so special to see sophomores that were my go-to for questions when I first arrived that now are seniors that are so mature and responsible, but also fun and approachable. They have every quality you could want them to have and I've been able to see them grow into these amazing leaders. And obviously Coach DeLorenzo!

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