Linnea Gonzales, a senior captain for the University of Maryland field hockey team, recently closed a very productive career with Terps.
Gonzales, a 2015 graduate of Patterson Mill High School, was named the Regional Player of the Year late last week by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association.
“It’s so cool,” Gonzales said by phone on Monday. “I was kind of confused because my mom had texted me, like congrats on regional player of the year and I was like, what do you mean,” Gonzales explained. “I didn’t know and she knew before me, my whole family did, so I was kind of confused. I saw it on social media and it’s like so awesome. I didn’t expect that at all.”
Gonzales, also the 2018 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year, was named the Longstreth/NFHCA Mid-Atlantic Region Player of the Year after another stellar season with the Terrapins, who were runners-up in the NCAA Division I National Championship.
“It‘s just cool to to see the hard work pay off,” Gonzales said. “It just really feels good, I feel like this senior year, like everything worked out the way it was supposed to be. Even though we didn’t come out with the title, I feel like I’ve grown as a person and a player as well. I”m really happy with how the season turned out and with everything that’s happening. It feels really good.”
Gonzales finished her senior season leading the Terps in goals (14) and points (33) and she was named the 2018 Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player, was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team and was a unanimous selection for All-Big Ten First Team honors.
In the career, Gonzales, started in all 94 games of her career and scored 43 goals with 13 assists. She helped lead the Terrapins to two Big Ten tournament titles, three Big Ten regular season titles, four trips to the NCAA Tournament and two appearances in the NCAA Finals. This season No. 2 Maryland earned a record of 22-3 and swept the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. The Terrapins made their second straight run to the NCAA Championship game.
“I came in, thinking I would not play at all my first year. That was just surprising to me. It’s been everything I’ve asked for and more,” Gonzales said on her time at Maryland. “Getting to know the team and building the relationships with the coaches. We went to the National Championship two years in a row. This has been our best run since 2013. It’s really nice to get the program back, how they were before. I’m glad I could be a part of that and contribute to it.”
With her college playing days over, Gonzales, a criminology major, is not quite sure when she will graduate.
Having played on National age-appropriate teams in the past, Gonzales is hopeful that she will be a member of the Women’s National Team in the new year. That announcement is yet to come, but it will push back graduation day for Gonzales.
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