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U.S. university scholarships draw Dutch hockey players

Making their mark overseas

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey - A four year full scholarship at Rutgers University has motivated 18 year old athlete Kristin van Rooij to leave her hometown of Den Bosch for the New Brunswick/Piscataway Campus of the State University of New Jersey. Van Rooij is just one of at least seven young female field hockey players debuting in Colonial Athletics Association’s competition, this semester.

While Van Rooij plays at goal for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Naarden native Carlot Verloop is a freshman at Virginia Commonwealth University where she is a teammate of fellow Naarden resident Anna Nordbeck and of Hoogeveen born Daphne Bravenboer. In the Netherlands, Verloop and Nordbeck were members of the Gooische Hockey Club in Bussum.

Another Dutch freshman already earning high marks this young season is Frederique Meeuwsen, who hails from Noord Scharwoude and plays for the Indiana Hoosiers. Imme van Dijk of Tilburg, plays first year field hockey for New York’s Hofstra University, while Groningen resident Merel Broekhuizen is on the roster of the James Madison Dukes.

Discovered through video tapes made at a hockey clinic in the Netherlands last year, Van Rooij, Verloop, Meeuwsen, Bravenboer, Van Dijk, Nordbeck and Broekhuizen were activily persued by a number of U.S. universities. Athletics directors laud the young Dutch players for their experience, especially on artificial turf used by the university teams in the U.S.

Van Rooij registered two wins in her first two appearances for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, the second one being a shutout. The ‘import’ freshman scored another coup: she was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week, her first at Rutgers. She also was named Rookie of the Week. Over the next two weeks, Verloop won the Rookie of the Week citation as well as two National Rookie of the Week awards by Women’s Field Hockey. Verloop is leading her team in the number of goals and points. At VCU, Nordbeck and Bravenboer also rank among the top 10 players.

The Hofstra and Rutgers universities both were named after early Dutch American benefactors.