DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke field hockey team closes out its regular season Saturday, October 27, against Virginia. Game time is set for 1 p.m., at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior Mary Nielsen to learn more about the Duncan, British Columbia native.
GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke? Mary Nielsen: One amazing moment for our entire team was when we beat the number one team, ODU, and it was in overtime and I scored the goal so it was really exciting to celebrate because we had been working real hard for that. I think that was proudest moment.
GoDuke.com: What is the most misunderstood thing about your sport? MN: A lot of people always comment about how our backs must hurt. I guess they just see us bending over and envision an old lady with a cane but it's all about bending the knees.
GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite class at Duke? MN: This class about Greek and Roman Law by this professor named Joshua Sosin (sp). He's just an insane personality and he had an amazing outlook on life. I learned more about life than Greek and Roman Law but it was amazing.
GoDuke.com: What has been your least favorite class at Duke? MN: Probably my math requirement. It was a computer science and statistics class. It was awful. Game theory, little dove, big dove, just awful stuff. I don't really do numbers well.
GoDuke.com: What is your favorite spot on campus? MN: I really like the patio behind Vonderhaven when it's nice out. I like to study, read and listen to people's conversations.
GoDuke.com: Tell us about the time when you first started playing your sport. MN: I started when I was about five or six years old. Where I am from in Canada it is a really big hot spot and my brother played field hockey. As a child, the program is called grasshoppers. So he played and my sister played and they are both older than me so automatically, when I was old enough, in the spring my mom put me in. It was fun. All these kids on tiny fields playing, just hitting the ball around, no circle; it's kind of like little kid soccer.
GoDuke.com: What was your favorite food when you were a child? MN: When I was a child I like cornbread, but that was when I was a child. Now I like popcorn, tortellini and parmesan cheese.
GoDuke.com: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you want to be now? MN: I wanted to be a urologist as a child until I found out what a urologist was. I realized that I didn't want to be that anymore. Now, I would like to write children's books.
GoDuke.com: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you? MN: Probably my parents. I know that is cliché but they are the people that you know are always there for you. You see them go through so many trials and tribulations and they are always there for you. They've taught me so much and I like to carry their advice with me wherever I go.
GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? MN: I would contact J.K. Rowling and say, "Hey, I have some money. I would like to meet you and talk about charities or whatever I could figure out just to meet her. Then, I would go to Italy."
GoDuke.com: What sport other than your own would you play? MN: I would play beach volleyball if I was taller.
GoDuke.com: Do you have any hidden talents? MN: I can sing and play the guitar.
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