Villa Maria Academy’s Annina Iacobucci is Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week

A junior forward, Iacobucci is the leading leading scorer of the defending PIAA Class AA state field hockey champions. She tallied three goals on one half against Oley Valley, has been scoring multiple goals in a number of other key contests, and is dishing out assists at a healthy rate as well. She also plays lacrosse for Villa Maria and is a part of the school’s Children of Mary Club.

Q: What do you think was the key to your performance against Oley Valley? Was there one play in that stretch that stands out in your memory – if so, can you share it with us – how the play developed and your role in it.

A: Our team as a whole played very well, and, due to the game being on turf, we really moved the ball quickly and had a fast pace the whole game which definitely added to not only my performance but the team’s as a whole.  One play that I distinctly remember was during the first half Coach Daan called a timeout right before we went to do one of our corners, and right on the spot he gave a new corner play, one which we hadn’t practiced before, and sent us back in to execute it.  The ball was inserted by Lindsay Dickinson and stopped by Megan Vermiel, who passed it to me off the left of the goal cage above the goalie which I then shot.  That is one of the plays I clearly remember due to how the passes and stops were executed with such precision with no prior practice.

Q: How do you view your current leadership role as the team’s leading scorer?

A: This position is nothing I could have ever imagined.  Being the team’s leading scorer is amazing and it feels great being able to help my whole team through my part in the game.  Even though I am the leading scorer, there are many other talented girls on the team who score and contribute just as much as I do, so while its amazing to be able to lead the team in this specific category, it would not be possible for me without the rest of my team.

Q: Last year was a memorable one for the Villa Maria field hockey squad. Can you share with us your most vivid memory of the season?

A: My most vivid memory of the season would have to be hands down the state championship game.  It was any amazing moment for not only us on the team and our coaches,  but also the Villa Maria as a school.  It was a truly amazing moment winning, and it is surely something I will never forget.

Q: Your sister Amelia had a fine field hockey career for Villa Maria. Have you stayed in touch with her often this fall? What has been the most important thing she has taught you regarding field hockey?

A: Since she is up at UConn, which is so far away, I have not gotten to see her much since she went up for preseason in mid August, but I have been keeping in touch with her through text as much as I can.  During my two years playing with her the most important thing she taught me was to leave it all on the field.  Amelia was a great player and she would also give it her all no matter the importance of the game.  Her constant drive to do her best at all times is definitely the most important thing she has not only taught me about field hockey, but life as well.

Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you working the most on at the present time?

A: The strongest part of my game I think I would say is my ability to execute while on the far post.  One of my favorite things to practice, although it may sound simple, is stopping balls from the top of the circle and tipping them in, so with the practice that I have been doing, it is one of my strongest points.  I am currently working on more of my one vs. one defense, something Coach Daan [Polders] stresses a lot, since he always says that forwards are the first line of defense.  It is something we work on a lot at practice so hopefully I am improving as the year goes on, but it is definitely something I have to work on.

Q: Who have been your top field hockey mentors, and what has been the most important thing each of them taught you?

A: My top field hockey mentor would be my current Coach, Daan Polders.  He has been my coach for both my current and past high school seasons.  Throughout his time coaching me, I feel as though I have not only improved my skills, but also improved my knowledge about the game as a whole.  Coach Daan is a great coach who I really look up to and greatly thank for all he has done for me through coaching me into the player I am today.

Q: You want to play field hockey in college. What colleges are among your current favorites? What would you like to major in? Is there a career field that particularly interests you at the present time?

A: My college search at the moment is not very narrowed down but I know that I would like to stay somewhat close to home, definitely somewhere on the East Coast.  I have been thinking about what I want to major in, and something that keeps on grabbing my attention is nursing.  I am very interested in the nursing field and might want to pursue it in college and in my future career path.

Annina Iacobucci’s top picks

Book: The Hunger Games.
Author: Suzanne Collins.
TV show: Grey’s Anatomy.
Movie: The Breakfast Club.
Pre-game pump-up song: Best Song Ever, by One Direction.
Athlete: Serena Williams.
Team: Philadelphia Flyers.
Place to visit: The Jersey shore, Stone Harbor.

(To be selected as the Main Line Girls’ Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)

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