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First-year Eva van’t Hoog makes herself a new home at UNC

#3 UNC Field Hockey defeated #9 Liberty 7-1 Thursday afternoon. Freshman Midfielder Eva van't Hoog (22) dribbles past a liberty player.
#3 UNC Field Hockey defeated #9 Liberty 7-1 Thursday afternoon. Freshman Midfielder Eva van't Hoog (22) dribbles past a liberty player.

This is the situation for North Carolina field hockey first-year Eva van’t Hoog. For the midfielder hailing from Den Haag, Netherlands, going across the ocean for college was no easy task.

“Being away from my family is really the only hard part,” she said.

Van’t Hoog has transitioned into college well, but that did not take any joy away from the homecoming she had with her parents on Thursday. They were in town for the first time since they moved her into college in August.

David and Judith van’t Hoog were more than happy to travel to see their daughter, who recorded an assist in her first collegiate game in front of her parents, a 7-1 win for the No. 3 Tar Heels over No. 10 Liberty.

While the journey to Chapel Hill had its ups and downs, everyone involved knows this is where she is supposed to be.

David and Judith expressed happiness for their daughter but said that the process has been a little hard at times.

“(Coming to America for college) was never the plan until last year. She was going to play in the Holland Senior League,” David said. “But then she got interested in the whole American adventure.”

The recruitment process might have never happened, but when Coach Karen Shelton was sent film of Eva, she took immediate notice in her potential.

It is tough recruiting overseas, but Shelton attributes technology as a huge assistance.

“We’re able to Skype now, so we have Skype phone calls, so we sit in front of the computer,” she said.

“It’s like ‘Star Trek’ in the old days.”

After contact with Shelton, Eva took her first visit to UNC less than a year ago. In November of her senior year of high school, she made the trip over from the Netherlands.

“It’s crazy, everyone starts the college process so early here,” Eva said.

A whirlwind couple of months that went from Eva planning to play professionally in her home country, to playing college field hockey eventually boiled down to a huge decision for her: UNC or Wake Forest.

“Of course I chose UNC,” Eva said, trying to hold back her smile.

As a first-year, Eva has tallied four goals and six assists en route to becoming one of only three first-year starters for a senior-dominated North Carolina team.

Her career as a Tar Heel has blossomed, both on the field and off, which made it easier to feel comfortable this far away from home.

“The first couple weeks or so I was really struggling, because at tailgates and stuff everyone has parents,” she said.

“But the team and parents are so nice to me, so I feel like that’s kind of my family as well.”

@WBOD3 

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