Maddy Humphrey

Sport: Field hockey

Age: 21

Year: Senior

Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Major: Strategic communications

Question: Probably I already know the answer, but do you prefer to get away at a beach or a quiet spot in the woods?

Answer: Get away to a beach, 100 percent.

Q: How many times do you figure you’ve been to the beach in your lifetime?

A: I’ve never been asked that but before I came to Ohio State, I would have to guess I’d go around 50 days a year, so the total would be around 1,000 times. But who knows? Too many times to count.

Q: So you learned a long time ago how to deal with sand in all sorts of places?

A: Ever since I was a toddler, I have loved sand wherever it is; it makes me feel at home. During the summers here we have speed school with our strength coach, (Anthony) Glass, and we go in the sand pit for conditioning. Those are my favorite days because I always end up with sand in my car, the shower and, my favorite, my bedsheets.

Q: You’re the youngest of three Humphrey kids; did your siblings play sports?

A: My older brothers taught me how to ride a bike, how to kick a soccer ball and how to surf. They both have been competitive sponsored surfers. One time they were waiting to compete in a surf contest, they were spotted and asked to model for Hollister!

Q: Your OSU bio says you were team MVP in four sports as an eighth-grader. Assuming field hockey is one, what were the other three?

A: Soccer, volleyball and basketball.

Q: How and when did field hockey emerge as your favorite?

A: In middle school, my best friend’s aunt was my seventh-grade science teacher, her sister was the middle-school field hockey coach, and they encouraged me to try it out. I fell in love with the sport because it was a vacation from soccer, the sport I played most of my childhood.

Q: Virginia is ACC country, and obviously basketball is king there. Do any ACC schools offer field hockey, and did you consider any of them?

A: Yes, I looked at a number of other schools. Ohio State was my seventh school visit. I was interested in and visited Wake Forest, James Madison, Maryland, Louisville, Indiana, Richmond and William & Mary.

Q: What would you say is the most exciting play in field hockey?

A: Diving goals are by far my favorite plays. That’s the No. 1 way to pump me up in a game.

Q: Would you agree that your sport has some arcane or confusing rules?

A: Yes. It took me a few years to learn the rules and to not kick the ball — after playing soccer basically my entire life. Whenever friends come to games, afterward they always have a hundred questions about all the whistle-blowing.

Q: How would you briefly describe a penalty corner to a hockey novice?

A: It is an “advantage play” when your opponent gets fouled in the half circle in front of the goal. Only four defenders and a goalie are allowed to defend the corner play, but the rest of the players are waiting at the 50-yard line (half-line). The offense can have as many players as they want up on the corner play, so this is considered an “advantage play” because you begin the corner with numbers up.

Q: One rule of field hockey is that you can’t raise your stick above your shoulder to take a shot. How much harder could you hit a ball if you swung like a golfer?

A: Well, I have tried — key word is tried — to swing like a golfer, and it turns out to be a combination of a field hockey swing and a golf swing. My family has no idea how I make contact with the ball, but I do it in my own special way.

Q: Player safety is an issue, I know. On that front, where is the most painful spot to get hit with a ball?

A: I play forward, so defenders are always hitting me in the foot when they are trying to blast it out of their defensive end. I’d have to say that is the most painful and most hit spot. I also am usually 5 yards or less away from the defender when she swings, so that doesn’t help the pain.

Q: At Ohio State you play on artificial turf. Do you play on natural grass anywhere?

A: We always play on turf. In high school I was fortunate enough to have half of my practices and half my games on the grass and the other half on artificial turf at the old National Training Center in Virginia Beach.

Q: Which surface do you prefer?

A: Artificial turf is the most professional surface to play on. It makes the game so much cleaner and faster.

Q: Your bio says you’re interested in coaching field hockey when your playing days are over; true?

A: Yes. During each of my offseasons since my freshman year, I have been coaching with Field Hockey Life, a local travel field hockey program run by Keli Smith Puzo, a former USA Field Hockey Olympian.

Q: On to other things: What is your favorite OSU sport to attend as a spectator?

A: A huge selling point for me when I committed to Ohio State was the football. The camaraderie we experience at this university, in Columbus and the entire Buckeye Nation — we’re so fortunate to be a part of it. However, my boyfriend is a senior pitcher on the baseball team, so I’d better say baseball!

Q: Outside of OSU, do you have a favorite team?

A: North Carolina basketball, 100 percent. My grandfather, Pop, who passed in May, went there and raised me to be a Tar Heels fan. I chose to wear No. 23 because it is the number worn by my and my Pop’s favorite athlete, Michael Jordan.

Q: Are you a pet person?

A: I’m a dog person all the way, plus I am allergic to cats. I have the fluffiest and cutest Pomeranian, named Puffin. He is my best buddy when I am back home. He even has his own social media accounts.

Q: If you had to listen to only one song to get you ready for a game, what would it be?

A: The songs I listen to before a game change all the time, just because there is constantly new music coming out. When I am asked what I want to listen to before a game or practice (I say), “Country music, and the Chainsmokers.” They’re two completely different genres but I enjoy listening to them. I also am a big fan of rap music before heading out the field, to get my heart pumping and mentally focused. A song that always pumps me up and never gets old is “Money and the Power” by Kid Ink, but my song right now is “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar.