Q & A with Candice Cooper
Sept. 8, 2004
Q & A With Candice Cooper
After starting the season 4-0 the Wildcat looks at how her team got there
Northwestern forward Candice Cooper was tabbed as the Big Ten Conference offensive player of the week in the second week of the 2004 season. The senior tallied two goals in the wildcats 4-2 win over
You had back-to-back three goal games to get player of the week honors
How did you manage to find yourself in so many scoring situations?
Our team has been generating a great amount of attack this season and we are able to get the ball into the circle and get a large amount of corners in our games. I am hitting on corners and because we are creating those corners I have had several opportunities to put the ball in the net. As a team we also have been working on cutting and movement in the circle so that I can get open for scoring chances as well.
Northwestern has started the season out by going 4-0 with two Big Ten players of the week. What does that say about the team and the program?
I think that it is saying that with a new coaching staff and a new team in 2004 that the program is being turned around. We are generating attack and finishing the chances that we are given. We are becoming an offensive threat with the amount of corners we are getting and the goals we are scoring.
Does being a senior put any added pressure on you going into this season?
I think that in my situation, there are only two of us seniors on the team so it does add a bit of pressure. We are a young team and our juniors need to take on the role of leaders because there are only two seniors. I don't worry as much about pressure on myself as I do about finishing my field hockey career at Northwestern knowing that I gave everything I possibly could to the sport.
Has your collegiate career gone the way you thought it would or has it gone beyond what you expected?
For the most part it has gone the way that I thought it would. I knew when I decided to play at Northwestern that the team was in a "rebuilding stage" and that it was not going to be easy. I think that Kelly is doing a great job turning this program around and I will always trust that our coaches are making us better every step we take.
What are some of the things that you want to accomplish in your final season in
I want to be a winning team. A team that is an offensive threat to the other Big Ten schools also a team that other schools fear to go up against on corners. I want to be Big Ten Champions and go the NCAA tournament. I also want to know at the end of the season that I gave Northwestern field hockey everything that I could of myself.
In your time as a Wildcat what are some of the biggest challenges that you've had to overcome?
I have been lucky enough that I have not had severe injuries that have limited me from playing. I think a challenge for me was to see a few of my classmates quit the team. My class went from four players down to two and that was rough for me to deal with. Now we are left with 2 seniors and we had to adjust accordingly.
With Northwestern hosting the field hockey championships this
November, what would it mean to you to be able to win a Big Ten title on your home field?
It would be absolutely amazing! When I first found out that we were hosting the Big Ten Tournament for my senior year I was psyched. I think that ending my senior year hosting the tournament and winning the Big Ten would be an unbelievable way to end the season!
What obstacles have you gotten by as a team while you've been at Northwestern?
I think that it has been rough to transition from one head coach to the other. I was lucky enough that our assistant coach took over the team rather then somebody who was not already part of our Northwestern family, however; it still was a transition.
Personally, what has been your greatest accomplishment as a student-athlete and why?
I would probably have to say at this point in time it is that I was recognized for my ability as a field hockey player by making Second Team All Big Ten and first team all regional last year. After a game you as a player know if you played well or not, but being recognized and awarded for your skills is the greatest accomplishment.
As a kid what athlete or role model did you look up to and why?
Growing up I played traveling ice hockey on an all guys team. My hockey coach Bob treated me as if I was a boy and expected 100% of me all the time. He pushed me to be the best that I could be and if I was not doing what I was capable of, he pushed me harder and harder. He taught me that you can do whatever you want if you put all your heart into it. When doing fitness or a drill that is really hard, I always think of him and how hard he pushed me to be the best athlete I could be.
How did you first get involved with field hockey and why?
I got involved in field hockey because I had been playing with a guys traveling ice hockey team since I was young enough to skate and I thought it would be pretty easy to pickup, since I already played a sport that involved a stick. (I just had to learn that you could only use one side to the stick).
What are some of your other favorite sports?
I love ice hockey. It is my favorite sport ever. I also love softball and played in high school. And of course field hockey is up there too!
What are some of your plans after graduation?
After graduating I'm thinking about going to graduate school for my master's in education. I would like to go into teaching and possibly coach field hockey locally.
If someone was going to make a movie about the Northwestern Field
Hockey team, who would you want to play the role of you and why?
Mia Hamm because she is someone that has such a passion and heart for her sport, she is tough and does not quit. She gives everything she has all the time, no matter what.
Who would play some of your teammates and coaches?
I am not so good at this sorta thing so I'm going to try...I think that our team is a lot like the team from "A League of Their Own." We all come from different backgrounds and are different, but are so close to one-another as a team. A friendly, more funny and personable Kurt Russell would play our coach.