Mon12102018

Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

Sports

Senior Spotlight: Georgia Garden Bachop

FH 11.28.18New Zealand is known for Lord of the Rings, rugby, and its large amount of sheep farms. It also happens to be the birthplace of Field Hockey’s senior forward Georgia Garden Bachop.

Hailing from Wellington, the picturesque capital city of the country, Garden Bachop was born to be an athlete. Her family was full of talented rugby players and those athletic traits were passed on to her. But her passion for field hockey comes from her aunt.

“My family is big into rugby in New Zealand,” said Garden Bachop. “My aunt is the one who played field hockey and for my fifth birthday gave me a field hockey stick and said go play field hockey not rugby. I played for her team since I was five and all the way through high school up to today.”

Her high school years were spent playing a variety of sports such as rugby, volleyball, and handball. Yet her aptitude seemed to lean towards field hockey as the accolades would suggest.

Garden Bachop even represented her country, competing for a spot in the New Zealand U-18 squad as a teenager.

As her high school career was coming to an end, Garden Bachop began to look for opportunities to expand her horizons. One idea was to compete in the United States.

She created a highlight reel and floated the tape around to various recruiting websites. Monmouth Field Hockey Head Coach Carli Figlio must have saw something she liked as Garden Bachop would soon find herself heading to West Long Branch.

“I was talking to different coaches, but when Coach Figlio reached out to me I cut contact with everyone else because I wanted to come here,” she said.

Garden Bachop found proximity of Monmouth’s campus to the ocean as a major selling point and committed to play field hockey for the Hawks.

 The forward made 18 starts in her freshman campaign, recording a total of two goals on the season. It was not all easy for her though as it took time to adjust.

“Freshman year I struggled during preseason and the season,” Garden Bachop said. “It was completely different from home. I thought I would be fine not working out at home and showing up. I had some catching up to do.”

As the years ticked away Garden Bachop took her game to another level.

This past season as a senior, she was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Offensive Player of the Week three weeks in a row during the month of October.

Garden Bachop was crowned as the MAAC Player of the Year, MAAC All-Championship Team MVP and as of Monday, a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) All-Mid-Atlantic Team.

Through she is decorated with many individual awards, Garden Bachop is proud of her team.

“I am most proud of the ring in 2016 we won, that achievement was awesome. Those group of girls was the best part,” she said. “The things we have accomplished this year such as coming so close to beating Michigan and beating Delaware in a scrimmage. Small things that we have accomplished that foreshadow where we will go.”

Field Hockey has quickly become one the sports that Monmouth is known for. With three MAAC championships in five years the program has thrived due to players such as Garden Bachop.

Looking to the future, she is still undecided, besides wanting to see her family and play more field hockey.

“Once I graduate, I will go home and be with my family,” Garden Bachop said. “Really, I want to play more, I am not done. At home there are some competitive teams to try out for and play. From there, either go to more school or find a job. Also, I am thinking about coming back to the USA, getting a master’s degree, and coaching.”

Putting it all together, Garden Bachop is pleased with how her past four years have played out.

Her story is just in the beginning stages and the legacy she leaves at Monmouth will be one that will be talked about for years to come.

“I would change things, but those things have taught me lessons,” she said. “Not that I regret things because everything I have done have made me who I am. I really would not change anything.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Monmouth Athletics

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