Last Saturday, field hockey forward Mia Rosati ’12 wrapped up her college field hockey career as an Ivy League champion, with a shutout 7–0 victory over Brown that clinched marked Yale’s second title since 1980. Over her career, Rosati scored 23 goals, and she finished in Yale’s historical top 10 for career points gained through goals. She saw the Elis come agonizingly close to an Ivy title in 2009 and 2010, when Yale placed second, and then finally clinch the title victory this year.
Rosati sat down with the News to talk about how she and the team have transformed over the years.
Q: How does it feel to be an Ivy champion?
A: It still hasn’t sunk in yet, and it’s kind of surreal. But it couldn’t have been more perfect. … After all these years playing field hockey, during my last game, this year, we won Ivy champs. It was just picture perfect. We just had so many fans there. I’ve never played in front of that many people before.
Q: Were you surprised about how the season played out, or were you anticipating a win?
A: This was the first year we really thought we had a great chance of being Ivy champs, since we brought back so many returners and had a stronger team with much more experience.
Q: Do you think being a senior changed your approach to the sport this year?
A: I think the field hockey program has always been dedicated, but this was the first year we knew it was going to pay off. This year we had talent, and we had six really strong personalities in the senior class who wanted to do everything to make sure the Ivy title happened.
Q: What has characterized your four years on the team?
A: This is what my coach said at our tailgate after the game. She told me what she remembered me most for. It was one practice when I was a freshman, and she asked us if we were a farm animal what we would be. I said, “I would be a queen bee on a bee farm, because I want to lie around and get all the attention and be like the queen.” And the team always called me, “Oh you’re a princess.” And I think it’s sort of interesting because I don’t really play like that. I think there’s a divide in my personality. On one side, I’m really intense, and just want to get stuff done, no funny business. But I’m also a princess, and can be a queen bee.
Q: From watching your games this season, it seems nobody is really a “queen bee” on the field. Has the team grown throughout the years?
A: I think that’s also one of the reasons why we were so successful. This is the first year I can honestly say we’re actually friends on and off the field. Before, there’d be different cliques within the team. But this year we all get along. We all go out with each other. We all hang out.
Q: Why did everyone get so close this year?
A: Part of the reason we’re all really close is that [head coach] Pam [Stuper] is just so hard on us, which is good. She sets the bar really high. She’s definitely one of the toughest coaches, and it has paid off in the end over the four years. If you are five minutes early, you’re late. You need to get your stuff in way before it’s due, and be on top of everything. “Don’t drop the ball,” she always says.
Q: What has helped you personally as a player?
A: Playing club and playing with a lot of foreign coaches made me realize field hockey is a really big sport in the world. … I played for someone who was on China’s national team, and I met and was coached by Jorge Lombi, who was the men’s leading goal scorer at the time. So just meeting people outside of my little bubble showed, “Yeah, field hockey’s a big sport, and there’s more outside Philadelphia.” I think it was the awe for those people that wanted me to do more. Meeting Jorge Lombi, and for him to be like, “You can be good if you do this, this and this,” was just great.
Q: Do you think playing field hockey limited you academically?
A: It has definitely hindered me because I’m losing five to six hours a day of work to field hockey. But it was so worth it. Playing sports has helped me manage my time and structure my day, gave me goal-setting techniques like, “I have to get this done, and go take a nap.” I don’t regret it at all.
Q: Who has influenced and inspired you?
A: My dad has been a really important part of my field hockey career. He’s been my toughest critic. He missed one game in my four years. And that was because my freshman year, he was going through chemotherapy and he couldn’t make it since Dartmouth was far from Pennsylvania. But he rearranged his chemo treatments so he wouldn’t miss my games as a freshman. He is the most dedicated person. I’ve been successful because of him.