Freshman forward Nicola Pluta from Moenchengladbach, Germany, has already made her mark on the No. 11 ranked Wake Forest women’s field hockey team.
The team captain for the 16-under girls German national team, Pluta has already scored nine points this season (as of Sept. 14) Coming off of a season-high 22 shots in their 6-0 victory over Davidson Tuesday, Sept. 13, at Kentner Stadium, Pluta led the Demon Deacons with seven shots, three of which were on goal. The Old Gold & Black sat down with Nicola to talk to her about the season so far.
How are you adjusting to your freshman year at Wake Forest?
It’s going pretty well. I really like this school, so it’s not that difficult to adjust. There’s a lot of people helping me, and I have my team around me, so the adjustment has been quite easy.
How are you adjusting to the U.S. coming from Germany, and what has the transition been like for you?
It’s not that different. I expected it to be more different. Actually, because I live on campus, it’s quite international, so I don’t really know what life is like in America. I only know the campus life, but so far, it’s quite good.
What are you most looking forward to both on and off the field this year?
On the field, I am looking forward to the big games and the NCAA championship.
I would like to win a title with this team. I was really looking forward to the UNC game, which we unfortunately lost. But the spirit of the game was so special. UNC is so close to Wake Forest, so it was a different game compared to any other game I’ve played so far. You could just feel that everyone wanted to win the game. That was quite special and impressive.
Off the field, I’m excited to meet people and to get to know a different lifestyle compared to the German one.
Why did you choose Wake Forest?
Wake Forest combines academics and field hockey pretty well. I don’t know if there’s another school where I can play field hockey at this high level and receive great studies. That’s why I was interested in Wake Forest. Then I started to get to know the coaches, and when I first Skyped them I was like, “Okay, I’m coming to Wake Forest.” It’s one big family, and I just felt like this would be the right place for me for the next four years.
You’re had a large offensive impact so far this season. What does it feel like to have such a big impact on your team as a freshman?
I didn’t expect it. When I first came here, I didn’t expect that I would perform so well. The whole team is doing such a great job. If the rest of the team didn’t stop our opponent and get the ball, then we couldn’t score on the attack.
It’s a great team, and I feel so proud to be a part of it.
What are your goals for yourself this season, and what are your goals as a team this season?
For myself, it’s to find my place on the team and to play a steady season.
For the team, I can’t say, because I don’t really know our opponents yet, but I would be so happy if we made it to the championship and reached the finals.
The Wake Forest Field Hockey team takes on Syracuse at home at 12:00PM on Sunday, Sept. 18.