ODU Field Hockey Newcomers Feature | Part Three
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. -- Old Dominion head field hockey coach Andrew Griffiths announced the signing of eight new student-athletes to the Lady Monarchs’ squad for the 2017 season. This week's feature will highlight Cameran Strickland (Virginia Beach, Va./First Colonial) and Anouck Vandersteen (Temploux, Belgium/Berlaymont).
Strickland, who will play either midfield or defense for the Lady Monarchs, is a local product from First Colonial High School in Virginia Beach. A first team All-Conference and All-State selection in both her junior and senior campaigns, Strickland helped lead First Colonial to a Virginia 6A state championship in 2015 and a runner-up finish in 2016. Racking up 58 goals and 36 assists throughout her prep career, she was also the recipient of First Colonial's Athlete of the Year award in 2017.
"Cameran is a skillful and versatile player from Virginia Beach, another in the line of top local athletes that have committed to join ODU field hockey in the past two years," Griffiths said. "We are excited to have Cameran join us, and she brings a strong skill set with her. She has good distribution skills from the backfield, including a strong sweep, and distance on her overhead. She also has experience in the midfield, and brings a winner’s mentality as part of a state championship team with First Colonial High School."
Off the field, Strickland was a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society. She plans to major in engineering at ODU.
"I chose Old Dominion because of the great field hockey program and excellent coaching staff," Strickland commented. "ODU also has amazing academics to offer in science."
Vandersteen, an incoming freshman who hails from Temploux, Belgium, projects as a forward or midfielder for the Lady Monarchs. A member of Belgium's U-15, U-16, U-18 and U-21 national teams, Vandersteen helped lead her U-16 team to two Belgian national titles. She also was a member of the women's league team that was Vice champion of Belgium for indoor and outdoor during the 2016 season.
"Anouck is a fast, dynamic forward with elite-level experience," Griffiths stated. "The first thing that stood out to us was her energy and work rate. She has an aggressive presence on the press, attacks with speed and commitment on and off the ball, and she is not afraid to dive anywhere to win the ball. She has played as a key member of the Belgian Under-18 team, which defeated the US Under-19 team and the German Under-18 team in a 4-game series this past weekend. I’m confident that she will add punch to our forward line and attacking midfield line."
Twice selected for her school's championship finals for writing and spelling in French, the Belgian freshman plans to study business at Old Dominion.
"I had great contact with the coaches and I really loved the objectives and the team project they presented," Vandersteen said. "I also appreciated the size of the University, the spirit and philosophy I saw through the website and how nice the weather is down there. I wanted to stay on the east coast to keep a reasonable distance with my family and friends."