Starting their first year at VCU after traveling from overseas, Maite Sturm and her twin sister Svea are quite the package. The freshman midfielders from Waltrop, Germany played in eight Juvenile German Indoor Hockey Championships, reaching the finals five times. The twins began playing field hockey in 2008.
The Sturm twins led their team to two championships during that time in addition to a runner-up finish and two third place finishes. In 2016, their club team, Duisburg’s of the Club Raffelberg, finished first in German Juvenile Championship Field Hockey. Svea and Maite both appeared in several games in one of the top adult leagues in Germany.
This season, Maite has started in 17 games, scored five goals, converted one assist and was named A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week early in the season. Svea has likewise started 17 games and scored eight goals so far this season.
Why did you decide to play field hockey?
Maite: Because I like team based sports and field hockey requires so many different skills like technique, understanding for the game, conditioning and many other skills.
Svea: I love playing sports that allow me to be part of a team and field hockey offers a great variation of what I want.
How has your transition from playing in Germany to playing in the U.S. been?
Maite: I realized very quickly that it is important to be in a good shape, because every player on the field has to be able to recover. Also, team spirit has been a high priority. In Germany it is necessary to have a good tactic understanding and the skill level (and) technique is very valuable.
Svea: First, I have had to adjust to playing in the U.S. because here it becomes more about being athletic and team spirit where in Germany the focus is on ball possession, technique and tactic. I think after a few games I have been able to adjust to the U.S. playing style more and more.
Why did you decide to come and play field hockey for VCU?
Maite: I think the first important point was that I met Coach Bean personally in Germany and that we had good conversations about building up a competitive team and we shared the same ideas of game play. Besides, it was important for me, that the field hockey program gave my sister and me the chance to study and play at the same university. The third point is that VCU is very good in the academic aspect and that it had a good business school.
Svea: VCU give me a great opportunity to play field hockey at a high level and to study at a good university. Also, Coach Bean came to Germany and convinced me that VCU would be a great fit with her ideas of game play and team spirit.
How would you describe your game play?
Maite: My game play comes with speed, technique and the open eyes for my teammates.
Svea: I think I’m a player with speed, technique and a good eye for free passes, but I think I’m also a hard worker who hustles back to help the defense.
What do you consider to be your strengths on the field?
Maite: I’m a very ambitious person, so I work very hard on the field so that as a team, we don’t lose the game. I think I have a good technique and understanding for the game.
Svea: I think my strengths are that I never give up because I hate to lose. I also think my strengths are technique and dribbling with the ball and my passes.
What do you consider to be your weaknesses on the field?
Maite: I discuss too often with the referees and sometimes it distract me.
Svea: Sometime like to discuss things too often with the referees.
How has this season been for you in terms of game play?
Maite and Svea: I think our defense and attack are well balanced, and I like our game play because we are really good in pressing the ball and creating a lot of good chances.
In the beginning of the season, you were named A-10 co-rookie of the week, how did that accomplishment feel?
Maite: I was very glad for this honor of winning A-10 Rookie of the Week and I have to thank my team because they help me a lot on and off the field. But for me, it is more important that my team and I win the games.
Do you find that there is a level of competition playing with your sister?
Maite: No, I think there is no competition between us. We both push each other in a positive way and want the best for the other one.
Svea: I think Maite and I don’t really compete against each other, we want to make each other better when we play together and help her garner the achievements which she gets, for example A-10 co-rookie of the week. For me, the team success is the most important thing in field hockey.
How do you hope to end the season?
Maite: I hope we will qualify to go to A-10 semifinals and the final of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and then to win it.
Svea: I hope we will qualify for the A-10 championship and play there as best as we can to try and win the A-10, so that we go on to the NCAA tournament.