German freshman Geyer earns starting spot for Syracuse field hockey

first_img Published on September 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm Anna Crumb had big expectations for her roommate-to-be. Literally. After getting her room assignment for the 2010-11 academic year at Syracuse University, the freshman back went online to do some research. She searched for pictures of Leonie Geyer. What Crumb saw was a big, powerful field hockey player, menacing her opposition. But when the two freshmen finally met in their Shaw Hall dorm room in August, Crumb was taken aback by what she saw. The image of the huge player from Neuss, Germany, dissipated, and a shy, soft-spoken freshman replaced it. ‘I assumed that she was going to be bigger,’ Crumb said. ‘But she is this tiny, little, petite girl. When she plays, she plays so big. She kind of owns the field when she plays.’ Owning the field — and the stat sheet — is all Geyer has done since arriving on Syracuse’s campus. The first-year midfielder has started in eight of nine games the Orange has played this season and is tied for first on the team in points with 12.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Though her stats and grasp of the system may tell people otherwise, head coach Ange Bradley said Geyer is still transitioning between life in Germany and life in the U.S. Geyer is 3,728 miles away from her hometown and still adapting to her new situation. ‘She is just so quiet, and then when she does say something, you’re like, ‘Oh, OK,” Bradley said. ‘She is just feeling it all out right now, still in that ‘trying to figure it out’ stage.’ Geyer’s journey to the U.S. began when assistant coach Lynn Farquhar saw some video clips at Sport-Scholarships online. Based on what she saw in the clips, Farquhar said Geyer was worth visiting in the winter. For Geyer, it was just the idea of coming to the states and experiencing a different lifestyle that was intriguing. When she realized a school with a good field hockey team and good academics was coming to her, it seemed too good to turn down. ‘Syracuse was just the best pick,’ Geyer said. Geyer never visited the campus or the country before deciding to commit. All the firsthand knowledge she had received about the school and the new country had come via the screen of her computer all the way back in Germany. But she did have contact with some of her teammates before leaving for school. This summer, two of the Orange’s other foreign players, sophomore backs Amy Kee and Iona Holloway, played in a summer league overseas and met with Geyer in Achim, Germany. Both Kee, a native of England, and Holloway, a native of Scotland, had already gone through what Geyer is currently going through. Adjusting to living in a different culture while balancing the pressures of being on a nationally ranked field hockey team and the expectations to do well in classes were things the two sophomores knew all about. Geyer said those two players, along with junior midfielder Martina Loncarica, a native of Argentina, have served as crutches for her to lean on when adjusting to life in America is at its toughest. ‘They understand my situation,’ Geyer said. ‘Everything is different. They know this — they have done this before in their first years when they came here, and everything was different for them. ‘They know how I feel and can help me with it and try to explain to me what it means to play here. Trying to explain what is different and what I can do to get better.’ But despite all of the changes and adjustments, Geyer has blossomed on the field. Both Crumb and Geyer said they have been surprised at the numbers that appear next to Geyer’s name on the stat sheet. After just nine games, Geyer is already being mentioned with the likes of two-time All-American Lindsey Conrad. But Bradley said she isn’t surprised at all by what her prospect has accomplished. In fact, it’s what she expected. ‘I thought she could,’ Bradley said. ‘She played on the under-21 team in Germany. You’re a pretty good player if you can be one of the top 30 players in Germany, especially since they’re No. 3 in the world. ‘If you can come into the system and adapt to the cultural differences, I think you’d be fine and be in a position to start to dominate.’ rwmarfur@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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