Nov. 11, 2010
Chestnut Hill, MA -
Senior Natalie Crutchfield has been a member of the BC women's Soccer team for four season. She will be on the field when the Eagles host BU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Newton Soccer Field.
Crutchfield came in as an unknown on a highly-rated class back in 2006. A native of Acton, MA, Crutchfield is known for her impressive speed on the field.
You are one of six seniors on this year's squad. Talk about the last four years and what role you play on this team.
The last four years have been a whirlwind. I came in really unknown and I didn't know my other classmates but being with them every day and taking classes with them made us a lot closer. My role on the team is more like the "mother figure," I hear them joke around about me putting on my "cape." Meaning I'm usually one of the upper classmen they go to for questions or help, but I think that can be said about all six of us.
I know the team is very set in their routines prior to the game. What is your regular routine from what you eat to a superstition you may have on game day?
I actually don't have any crazy superstitions. I tend to eat light before the game. When we have psych before our games, I usually don't eat the candy; I tend to take it for later. I have a few songs I listen to right before we step on the field to warm up. One routine I have that most people think would be funny is I go into work; I work at the Ticket Office before games. It helps me relax and not have to think about the game, plus I love the people I work with, they keep my mind off big games.
Which one of your teammates is the most competitive whether on the field or off? Give a funny story or a competition that when you all knew she was very competitive....
That would be Hannah. On the field she is such a strong presence, whether it is a game or during practice or when we have Maroon & Gold games. But overall I think we are all pretty competitive. We were joking earlier about who could take who in a fight, so I'd say off the field we are all very competitive.
Looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament, what is the team outlook and feeling right now?
The team is feeling really good going into the tournament. Everyone is focused and we all have the same goal; to make history and get into the Final Four. We are excited to play, and I know I can speak for the seniors when I say we are going to fight till the end. We are the only class that knows how it feels to lose a first round game and that memory keeps us fighting.
Since you are playing a familiar opponent (BU), how can you stop one of the hottest teams in the tournament?
BU is definitely a tough team. We are very familiar with BU's style of play. They are very "blue-collar" and have talent. All we can do is focus on what we can control; scoring goals and stopping goals. We will come out just as passionate as they will. What we can focus on is our will to win and stress that throughout the game.
You have truly made the team sacrifice this season playing all over the field. Right now you have been a starting defender and then fine yourself up front when needed. Talk about your preparation for a game knowing you may be playing anywhere but goalkeeper in the match.
Ha ha, usually I try not thinking about it. I go into the games with the mind frame of doing anything I can do to help us win, if that means playing defense or heading up top then I do it. When I know where I'm going to be playing in a game, I just make it a personal battle. In the back my goal is to make sure no one gets past me and no shots on Jill (Mastroianni), up top I focus on making runs and getting behind the defense. I just try to keep an open but focused mind from pregame to the end of the 90 minutes.
Did you know it was possible when you entered with your fellow seniors the success the program has achieved with three Sweet 16's and an Elite 8 appearance?
Coming into BC, I had no idea the potential we had as a class and as a program, but it's been an amazing ride. My fellow seniors and classmates are some of my best friends so the success we all have had has been truly special. I feel everyone who plays wants to get to the next level, and make history. In the four years we've been here we have accomplished so much. Knowing you helped establish a program is incredible and will stay with us forever.
What are you goals or ambitions after graduation?
Well I applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to Turkey. It's actually an English Teaching Assistantship, so I would teach English in Turkey for 10 months. I won't hear back for a bit, so if I'm lucky enough to receive that, then I'll be there next year. If not I've always wanted to work for the Federal Government, so I'll be applying for positions in agencies like the FBI or Department of Defense.
Will you continue to play soccer?
I don't think right away, but eventually I'll play a bit recreationally. Soccer has been a part of my life for so long it's going to be hard to let it go.