Last Ride: Lisa Giezeman’s senior year
She misses the waffles the most, even in her fourth year away from the Netherlands.
Lisa Giezeman is one of nine international students on the Blue Hens field hockey team. University in America is particularly attractive to international students, at least for Giezeman, because students are allowed to come in undeclared and explore their options in major.
Now studying finance, Giezeman plans to pursue a masters’ degree after graduation this spring. As for where, well …
“I’m pretty bad at making decisions,” Giezeman joked. “I have a lot of opportunities, I have a lot of choices.”
Some of those options include offers to play field hockey while getting her masters’ at universities in England and Australia. As a lover of travel, choosing one of these would be an exciting new challenge. But returning to the Netherlands is also an alluring option, particularly the high-ranked business school in Rotterdam.
Giezeman also thinks being an international student is an amazing opportunity to develop as a player, person and even a teammate.
“Back in the Netherlands you have to play sports and it’s separate from school and here I can combine it,” Giezeman said. “It is hard to combine it, actually it’s asking a lot of self discipline and time management, but you just commit to it. You have a big goal with the team.”
Being one of nine players from the Netherlands and Germany has made the biggest difference. Of course, being so far from home, she misses friends and family.
“From the first day, the first minute the group … it just felt like a family,” she explained. “Everytime I’m here, the parents come up to us, give us a hug, ask us how we are feeling, how we’re doing. Yes I’m far from home, I miss them, but I have a second family here, so that’s great.”
Giezeman and fellow Dutch teammate Kiki Bink live together, and their idea of a team bonding? Making Dutch pancakes on a Friday night. Not to say she doesn’t enjoy any American treats: iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts has become a particular favorite, as has Roots Natural Kitchen on Main Street.
As for their season, Giezeman explained there was just a feeling as soon as they got in for preseason this summer. “I was like ‘this is our year.’ All the seniors we were like, ‘let’s go, let’s do it,’” Giezeman said of it being her senior, and last, season. She just wants to take her years of experience and learning, help the freshmen and bring everything together.
When asked what her one piece of advice would be for the freshmen, she said, without hesitation, “Time flies by. Time flies. Just enjoy every single moment.”
“We have ten freshmen. They’re just great. From the first moment they were onboard, they wanted to learn. They were literally every time asking questions, they give it all during practice,” she said of the younger players.
She notes that while they need to “connect” a little bit more (the Hens went two and two in their first four games and are currently even on the board with four wins and four losses), they’ve been making progress every day, bringing more and more of the smaller pieces together as a group.
Giezeman was a sophomore on the 2016 team that brought the NCAA Field Hockey Championship to Delaware for the first time. This is her “last ride” and she’s ready to push that ride as far as she can.