Rutgers transfer begins to find niche in Rutgers lineup
Transferring to a new school and having to deal with a new atmosphere as well as integrating into a new sports team is not an easy transition.
But sophomore forward Jasmine Cole of the Rutgers field hockey team feels right at home.
“It’s been an awesome transition,” Cole said. “The team has made it really easy for me.”
Senior captain Jenn Staab thinks transferring isn’t the easiest thing but that players would be accepted in the team locker room regardless.
“It’s definitely difficult [to transfer], coming from a certain culture and coming into ours,” Staab said. “But we are very welcoming here, and we enjoy new people. We are a fun team.”
Cole transferred this summer to Rutgers after spending her freshman season at the University of Pennsylvania.
While at UPenn, Cole was an offensive force. She played in all 17 games (16 starts), leading her team with 18 goals and 39 points on the season.
Cole also ranked second in the nation in goals per game (1.06) and fifth with 2.29 points per game and was named Co-Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
After all that success, one would wonder why she decided to transfer, but like most transfers, she wanted to be closer to her home in Montclair, New Jersey. Another factor was the difficulty balancing the academics of a prestigious Ivy League School like UPenn.
“I think at UPenn, it was really hard to jumble the academics and the field hockey,” Cole said. “It was just too much.”
Cole also referenced head coach Meredith Long, who coached her during high school in the U.S. Futures program, as another reason for her transfer. Long was ecstatic to get a call from Cole after last season.
“She is a fun and exciting player to watch, and when she contacted me after her freshman year, I was excited because I knew how fast and dynamic she is,” Long said.
Long went on to describe Cole as a dangerous forward.
“She has that goal scoring mentality ingrained in her, and it’s not something that you can teach,” Long said. “Her ability to manipulate around the ball really makes it hard to defend and tackle.”
This season, Cole has not been as much of an offensive weapon for the Scarlet Knights. She has two goals and three assists on only 15 shots this season compared to 63 at UPenn last season.
But those two goals have both been game-winning goals, the first coming in the team’s first game of the season against Bucknell and the second coming this past weekend against James Madison.
In field hockey, the Ivy League and the Big Ten are on very different levels of skill and competition, making it a process to take some time to acclimate oneself to the competition.
“It’s a lot harder with the competition,” Cole said. “I think because it’s such a step up, it takes a while to make that transition.”
Long noticed that transition but thinks Cole is coming around.
“She came out and had a bit of an adjustment period,” Long said. “She is standing out the last couple of weeks.”
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