When Bodil Keus returns to Allegany Hall at the end of the day, she and four of her freshman teammates discuss the day’s events.
Sometimes, Keus and fellow defenders Kyler Greenwalt, Mayv Clune, Hannah Menge and Hannah Bond exchange thoughts on the team’s practice. If the conversation is lighter, her peers ask her what she had for breakfast. Trips to the dining hall often make for intriguing conversation, Keus said.
In her first season in College Park, Keus, an Amsterdam native, has anchored the No. 12 Terps’ backline. She’s also had to learn English. Conversations with her peers at home and on the field, and in her English course, have facilitated that process.
Now, with one contest remaining in the regular season, Keus is comfortable and confident while communicating with the rest of defense.
“She’s new to Maryland, but she’s not new to the game,” defender Kelee Lepage said. “I know I can trust her distributing the ball. I always am just so proud of her.”
[Read more: Maryland field hockey beats No. 3 Virginia, 5-4]
Because of her ability to spread the ball across the field, the Terps call Keus their “field general.” Those skills were on display early in the Terps’ 5-4 win against No. 3 Virginia on Tuesday.
Keus, who has been coach Missy Meharg’s primary choice on penalties, lined up for a penalty corner in the 31st minute. Keus has had success taking the shot off penalty corners this season, but against the Cavaliers, she sent a clean pass to midfielder Lein Holsboer, who struck the ball into the net to push Maryland’s advantage to 3-1.
Keus’ success is also notable because she’s had to adjust to an unfamiliar style when the Terps reach overtime, a situation she’s been placed into twice this season. Just seven players are allowed on the field during extra periods, a departure from the style of play in the Netherlands.
Still, Keus, who has been playing hockey since she was 6, has helped Maryland’s defense hold opposing attacks to fewer than two goals per game. In 16 contests, Keus and the Terps have allowed just six scores off penalty corners.
Keus has also contributed to Maryland’s offense, recording eight goals, second only to Holsboer’s 10. Some Terps said Keus never smiles during games or practices, even after scoring. But really, it’s another indicator she’s comfortable.
“Outside of the field, I’m a happy girl,” Keus said. “It’s concentration when I’m in the game. I’m concentrated [on having] control in the back.”
Meharg expects Keus, Lepage, Bond and defender Carrie Hanks to communicate frequently. Initially, Keus said she was anxious about talking without a complete English vocabulary.
But as the Terps prepare for the Big Ten tournament and a potential NCAA tournament run, Keus has settled in, and the results are evident.
“We talk a lot from the backfield because we see everything,” Keus said. “[The coaches] said we have to talk. I have to make them proud.”