The Moravian College Woman's team is ramping up for 2017 and looking to build off last years playoff success. Huge thanks to our 2016 BFF Female Player of the Year Gabby Stelzmiller who took some time away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Some real interesting stuff here. Give it a read and make sure you come out and support this team this season -- its well worth it! Enjoy the interview...
Q) How did you first hear of Moravian College/Made you decide to come here?
A) I first heard if Moravian College through a family friend. I was interested in going into nursing while I was looking at schools and I wanted to go to a smaller school with a great program where I could really excel in my academics. Along with this I wanted to be able to play soccer and I was recruited by Moravian for that. After my first tour of the school and meeting with the coach I instantly knew that Moravian was the school for me.
Q) What are your favorite parts of Bethlehem -- on and off campus?
A) The thing I love the most about Bethlehem is that there are so many places to go around campus. Between North and South campus we have Main Street which is filled with shops and restaurants. A lot of the time different events are being held down south such as musikfest. In addition to this, most malls and shopping centers are relatively close to campus.
Q) When did you remember as a player first developing a scoring touch?
A) My first collegiate goal did not happen until my sophomore year at Moravian. My first time playing forward was my freshman year, I was recruited by Moravian as an outside back and had played that for most of my life so it was a big change being moved up top. At first I was very frustrated with myself because I would get so close to goal and completely blow it when I would shoot. I had trouble at first getting the hang of where to be on the field and which runs to make but my greatest challenge was getting the ball in the back of the net. This all changed my sophomore year when I scored my first goal against Arcadia in the beginning of the season. I thank my coach, team, and family for my success last season. They never gave up on me and pushed me to be better every game and I can't tell you how much that helped me.
Q) How do you like the new Moravian field/turf?
A) I personally love the new turf field. I have always been a fan of turf fields because everything moves faster and that definitely works as an advantage to our team since we are so quick on our feet. I also love the field because we don't have to worry about it getting beat up from practices like we did for our old grass field so it is easier to train on. In addition, the field is beautiful and it is in a perfect location since it is right in the center of campus.
Q) What was the favorite goal you scored in 2016?
A) I would have to say one of my favorite goals that I scored last season would have to be the first goal against Catholic in the semifinals, not because it was the prettiest or anything like that but because of the reaction from my team, the fans, and the excitement it gave us to beat catholic. That was one of my all time favorite games of the season, it was such a rush.
Q) How did the Gabby Nasta tragedy affect your team in 2016 - was just curious if it created another level of focus/motivation to the team?
A) Unfortunately last season as most know our teammate lost someone very close to her after one of our games. This was devastating for our team. We made it our priority to be there for Gabby Nasta to help her through what she was going through and it made us stronger and closer as a team. After the accident that caused Gabby to lose her father she spoke to us at a practice and gave a very empowering emotional speech to our team. I can't exaggerate enough how strong of a person Gabby Nasta is and how she helped lift our team up after the incident and handled the situation, it was truly inspiring and it made our team incredibly motivated to make it to the championships not just for ourselves and coach but for Gabby.
Q) It looks like in 2017 you are losing your 3 captains what will you miss most about them?
A) I will miss Hannah for her ability to always stay positive and lift up our team even when we are losing or not playing well. I will miss Valentina up top with me and her ability to motivate me and the rest of the team to push ourselves and not give up. I will miss Christine and her dedication to the game and her ability to change the tempo of the game from defense. They were all great captains and hard workers who will be missed.
Q) Since the vast majority of your team is returning this year...are your expectations greater now after the playoff success in 2016?
A) I am very excited for this season because I think with our returning players and incoming freshman we are going to be tough competitors. Every year we are getting better and our goal for this season is to make it to the championships and win, with hard work and dedication I believe we will get there. I have a feeling it is going to be a great season for us and I can't wait for it to start.
Q) Was anyone hurt at the bottom of the Catholic U playoff victory pile :)?
A) No haha no one was hurt in the dog pile luckily!:) We were a bit squished though.