Lisa Cropper ’85 (ED) just returned from playing in the World Cup on the U.S. Masters Field Hockey team in Australia. Her team brought home the bronze medal, a first for any U.S. Masters team, male or female. Originally from Walpole, Mass., Cropper is a three-time All-American who helped lead the UConn field hockey team to the NCAA National Championship in 1981. Now a mother of two teenage boys, she is a personal trainer and coaches field hockey, ice hockey, and softball at Franklin High School in Franklin, Mass. We caught up with her recently to talk about her UConn memories and what she’s up to now in a new series we call Five Questions With.
Q. What’s the latest thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A. The trip to Australia for the World Cup. I don’t know if I would have gotten there otherwise. It was a 30-hour trip – a 22-hour flight and eight hours by land after that. The experience was amazing. As exotic as Australia may seem, it was the people there who were just fantastic. They’re just genuinely friendly and hospitable.
Q. What is the most useful thing you learned at UConn?
A. To surround yourself with good people. I was very fortunate to have had outstanding teammates and good friends. I learned not to be afraid to be yourself, and, at same time, to surround yourself with good people who were a good influence.
Q. How did you feel when your team won the 1981 national field hockey championship?
A. It was kind of neat. I was just a freshman, but I was lucky enough to be a starter all year long, so I felt like a real contributor. My high school was expected to win the state championship the year before and we were seeded number one. But we lost in double overtime. So winning the national championship at UConn was exciting and gave me a sense of vindication and validation.
Q. What advice you would give to someone starting out in field hockey?
A. Be a real student of the game and practice your stick skills. If you want to be good at it, it can really take you far. Look at me. I’ve been around the world with it!
Q. What’s your best memory of UConn?
A. I had such a good time at UConn all around. It was really much more about my teammates and roommates. I remember playing club ice hockey on the old, outside rink. Also, we’d go past the Dairy Bar for runs. Sometimes we’d stop there for ice cream on the way back.
Do you know of a fascinating person who would make a great “Five Questions with” interview? We’re looking for a wide range of interesting alums and donors who have a compelling stories to tell—from authors, celebrities, business leaders, political leaders, community leaders, researchers, artists to everyday people doing extraordinary, quirky, and interesting things in their professional or personal lives. Please send any suggestions to email@example.com.