Story by sports information student assistant Shannon Pittman
Earlham College is home to many people around the world. This is especially true for the field hockey team, which consists of sixteen players. nine of them come from a different country. A trifecta – senior Megan Hut, sophomore Maite Turlings, and freshman Camille van der Vaart, all come from the Netherlands.
Hut, the leading scorer for the Quakers the last three seasons, has had much success over her past four years on the team and was the first to come to Earlham. When asked why the senior wanted to attend Earlham she said, "I did not feel the need to visit Earlham, I just felt like it was the best fit."
Hut also helped her cousin, Maite Turlings, get the connections she needed to be recruited to Earlham. Megan and Maite have been playing the game of field hockey since a little before they were six years old and have spent the last two years on the field together for the Quakers.
Head coach Heather Moore has a contact that helps her find interested players in a USA Showcase that is played in the Netherlands. A major difference between sports for teenagers in the United States and the Netherlands is high school athletics. Americans can participate in athletics representing their high school while Dutch high schoolers have only club sports to partake in. In order to be recruited, van der Vaart had to participate in the USA Showcase.
"The showcase is for Dutch players who want to play in America", van der Vaart explained. "This was something I wanted, so I played."
Last year, assistant coach, Bailey Heinzen has gone to the Netherlands to watch recruits play and picked Camille to join the cousins.
Being so far away from home and on a six-hour time difference does not stop families from watching this trifecta play.
"Your family rarely gets to see you play," Turlings stated. "But that's alright because Earlham live streams all home games. My family will always tell us what we did wrong and how we can improve."
"My grandpa even bought a computer to see my games", van der Vaart added with some humor. "It took him awhile to get used to that."
Hut has enjoyed her experience as a collegiate student-athlete thus far. "It feels good to be playing here. Back home, the sport was only considered a hobby, but at Earlham, it's a big deal and we get cheered on."
The field hockey team finished its season with the best record since 2008. The Quakers also defeated Kenyon College for the first time since 2003.