Bosma adjusting to style of American athletics
Being a freshman is difficult. It’s the first glimpse into an independent life where you don’t know nearly as many people, are responsible for all of your chores and now have to handle a new and demanding course load.
Now, picture all of that, along with juggling practice, travel and games for a Division I team. And you’re also from a foreign country, with English as your second language.
The experience just explained is that of Hofstra field hockey freshman goalie, Betty Bosma. Bosma comes from Parkendaal Lyceum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The transition for her has been difficult.
“I have to learn the language better, and of course I have a busy schedule, with field hockey and getting to work with my team,” Bosma said. “It’s all very new.”
Individual pressure isn’t new for Bosma.
Not only is her current position very individualized as the very last line of defense for her team, but her past endeavors in sports were similarly individualized and something she holds close to her heart – literally.
She wears a necklace with ice skates on them, recalling her time as a speed skater in Holland.
Bosma’s speed skating career is nothing short of impressive.
She’s performed in the National Championships and even recorded a top-10 speed in the world for the 300 meter sprint. However, she returned to field hockey in 2016 because she felt that something was missing for her.
“It was a little too individual for me,” Bosma said.
“It was too hard for me mentally because I had to do it. Now, I’m with a team and with a team we can do it together. I have a feeling I get [stronger] from being with a team.”
Her performance with the Pride has echoed the comfort she feels in a team, and the strength and toughness she has gained from her past.
She currently ranks first in the Colonial Athletic Association with 104 saves, a full 16 saves ahead of the second-best mark. She is also one of two freshmen in the NCAA top 10 for saves per game, averaging 6.93 each time she steps foot on the field.
Her success was something that she was initially conscious of, but has since stopped dwelling on because she felt that focusing on her individual success would not help the team.
“I just want to play it game by game and do everything in that game to stay more in the moment and not look into the future too much,” Bosma said.
Another thing that she has learned from her time in speed skating is what kind of style she uses when playing her position.
She considers herself “explosive,” which is the best word to describe how she approaches defending the net.
She is incredibly mobile for her position, often coming out of the net to defend potential shooters.
Although this approach sometimes comes back to bite her, more often than not, she succeeds in stifling her opponents.
Her style works especially well in shootouts, as shooters may not expect a goalie to be able to follow them step-for-step so far out of the net. She is 2-0 in shootouts.
Despite all of the difficulties that Bosma has faced in her transition, she does not take the good times for granted.
“I’ve really enjoyed the studying, doing my classes, having practice and seeing my teammates throughout the day,” Bosma said.
She’s enjoyed the process of getting closer with her teammates, which was a lot harder with her old club, as she only really saw them during games and practices.
Bosma has already lived an interesting life filled with various stories of an aunt and uncle who participated in the 1984 Olympic Games.
Her aunt won gold in single sculls (part of the rowing competitions). Her experiences manifest in how well she’s been able to conduct herself on and off the field, and deal with the struggles of being an international first-year student.
As the team plays its final two games of the regular season, Bosma hopes to carry her progress with her, playing to her own individual standards for the success of the team.
Photo Courtesy of Cam Keough / The Hofstra Chronicle