PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s been quite the start to the 2016 field hockey season for St. Joseph’s University sophomore forward Anna Willocks.
In helping to lead the Hawks to a 4-2 start, Willocks has scored 10 goals and she currently leads the nation in goals per game (1.67) and she is second in points per game (3.67).
“I’m having so much fun playing,” Willocks tells KYW Newsradio. “It is just the best time. It’s great to be here in America and just do what I love, which is playing field hockey pretty much all the time.”
Listen to the entire interview with SJU’s Anna Willocks:
Willocks is a native of New Zealand and her success so far this season is really no surprise when you consider how she started her career on Hawk Hill. As a freshman in 2015, Willocks was named the Atlantic 10 Offensive Player of the Year and the league’s Rookie of the Year. Willocks says what she’s done so far in 2016 is really a credit to everyone around her.
“I honestly just think it’s the whole team’s working together,” Willocks says. “We work really hard on trying to be a family and sort of having that off the field and then playing like one on the field. We’re trying to play simple hockey and just use each other and really work for each other. Then obviously the results start to come. Been very fortunate to have awesome coaches and a great team behind me.”
While field hockey is a passion for her now, she says she came to the sport a bit late growing up.
“Because at home, my whole family plays field hockey and so I refused to do it for a little while just because I wanted to be a bit different,” Willocks says. “But then I ended up having to fill in for one of my sister’s teams and I really enjoyed just playing the game and so I thought, ‘I could do this every week.’ So then I started to play and get a bit more serious and I just really enjoy it. I think that’s what makes me want to continue doing it.”
Willocks and the Hawks really are playing well here to start 2016. Their only losses so far are to a Maryland team ranked in the top ten and Ivy League power Penn and they have wins over local rivals Villanova, Temple and Drexel to their credit.
“I think we’ve already started to make a lot of noise,” Willocks says of their strong start.
The Hawks will look to continue their early season success on Friday when they visit Monmouth.