Roos Weers’ 4-year career was almost 1

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 11, 2018 at 11:09 pm Contact Anthony: [email protected] Commentscenter_img On a nearly freezing November day in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2015, then-freshman Roos Weers stood next to her teammate, Lies Lagerweij, and smiled.Head coach Ange Bradley perched on her two players’ shoulders. Weers and Lagerweij donned white shirts which read: “NCAA Division 1 Field Hockey National Champions.”While her teammates celebrated, Weers was contemplating leaving.She initially planned to spend one year in Syracuse. She didn’t want to commit to more time away from her family, friends and homelife. But she stayed — she stayed to start each season since winning the national championship against North Carolina, 4-2.A two-time All-American and current team leader in career goals, Weers leads No. 12 Syracuse (3-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) as a defender and an attacker on penalty corners.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Ange explained to me what she thought that I could develop,” Weers said. “I think that was something in the beginning that was a bit scary and it made me uncomfortable.”Anna Hendserson | Digital Design EditorGrowing up in the Netherlands, Weers struggled to learn field hockey. Unlike her brother Bram, who picked the sport up easily and still plays professionally, Weers couldn’t properly hit the ball. She stood with her legs apart, but instead of placing the ball in between her feet, she positioned the ball next to them.Over and over again, Rob, her father, explained to Weers how to strike the ball. Each time, she failed. Weers has dyslexia, which complicated her learning process both on the field and in the classroom, Rob said. She struggled learning Dutch from a young age, and often confused her lefts and rights on the pitch.“It was like she was never, never going to learn it,” Rob said.Weers played in the Netherlands for her brother’s club, Kampong, for five years. She practiced four nights a week and played matches on the weekends. Two years prior to arriving at Syracuse, Weers traveled to both Spain and England for six months each. She returned home for one year before graduating high school, still unsure if she wanted to play NCAA field hockey.She had considered playing for Albany until SU head coach Ange Bradley came to visit Weers’ Netherlands’ teammate, Alma Fenne.Weers introduced herself to Bradley, but at that point, SU wasn’t recruiting another back. Plans fell through and Fenne committed to Syracuse.Weers decided, with some persuasion from Fenne, to play at Syracuse. She emailed Tara Zollinger, then an assistant of Bradley. They set up a Skype call. Bradley offered Weers a spot on the team. The two sides scrambled to acquire a visa for Weers in time for her to make preseason with SU. With just one day to spare, Weers received her papers and arrived in Syracuse two days before preseason.That fall, Syracuse won the national title. That fall, Weers wanted to decommit.She had difficulty adjusting to life and field hockey in the United States. She fell behind in class work and couldn’t travel for a road trip. She failed a fitness test in the preseason and struggled to learn English.Weers needed time, and the offseason, to decide if she wanted to continue stateside — so Bradley had to convince Weers to stay, this time with a recruiting pitch in person.“I had the best recruit in the country on my campus,” Bradley said. “I pretty much left her alone, and left her to decide.”Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorWeers’ choice came at the end of the semester: She’d stay. For three years, she built on the things that once plagued her.In summer 2018, Bradley noticed a significant difference in Weers’ conditioning — within European field hockey culture, Bradley hasn’t seen much of an emphasis on fitness, she said. Weers’ club teams growing up did very little strength training off the pitch, Rob said.Weers passed her fitness test for the first time, a product of working out at at home more in between seasons.After Syracuse’s 3-0 loss to Connecticut on Sunday, Rob sat down on the bench next to the field at J.S. Coyne Stadium. Weers finished her postgame interviews with media and walked to the bench.She sat down in between her parents, wrapped her arms around their shoulders and smiled.“I’ve always been very open about my opinion about staying or leaving here,” Weers said. “And I’m happy I stayed.”last_img read more