This week’s Q&A with a LIU Brooklyn student-athlete is with Alexandra Bock, a senior on the women’s soccer team.
Bock is a transfer student from Long Beach State and the younger sister of former Blackbird Samantha Bock. She is a nursing student who has been on the Northeast Conference’s Academic Honor Roll each year at LIU and expects to graduate this December.
Brooklyn Eagle Sports: Just so I have this right, you went to Long Beach State for just one year, correct?
Alexandra Bock: Yes. That’s right, but I didn’t play soccer there.
BES: Why not?
AB: I tore my ACL twice in high school and didn’t think I really wanted to play after that. <laughing> But of course I ended up playing again.
BES: So why not play at Long Beach?
AB: Like I said, I tore my ACL in high school. I tore it twice my junior year and wasn’t going to play in college. So I went to Long Beach State because they had a good nursing program. But the reason I came here was probably my sister. She was the one bugging me about playing soccer and wanted me to come here. She talked to (coach Tracey Bartholomew) about me and eventually I came here on an informal visit and had a great experience. I just didn’t realize how much I would miss it when I stopped. I actually came back for my senior season. I just didn’t play at long beach.
BES: What happened that caused you to hurt your knee twice?
AB: I was trying to outsmart the doctors. I got hurt playing and then came back at six months and my first game back and it re-tore. I came back too soon. I really wanted to play and didn’t want to listen to the doctors.
BES: So that was your junior year. Did you play at all your senior year?
AB: Yes. I played the full senior year.
BES: So you did play after the injuries. Why did you not play in college then?
AB: I felt like I felt the whole recruiting process and wanted to focus on school, but things changed.
BES: You mean your sister talked you into it afterward?
AB: <laughs> Yeah. I would say that she just highly encouraged it though and pretty much restarted my whole recruiting process. She just wanted me to be out here. She knew I wasn’t completely happy where I was and she really thought that me and her have always been really close. She just said, ‘come out here, you don’t even have to play out here. It’s just amazing and the people are great.’ The team was amazing when I met them and I thought they had amazing chemistry.
BES: At that time, were you only going to play for LIU or were you considering transferring to other schools for soccer?
AB: At that point if was going to play in division-I I was probably only going to LIU. I did look at a couple division-3 schools in California, but everything just kind of came together at LIU and it was just a last minute thing that worked out.
BES: So what was the recruitment process like with LIU?
AB: Tracy was obviously a little unsure because I hadn’t played in a year and she hadn’t seen me play so there was that aspect. Our assistant coach had been out (to California) a little bit and I ended up playing with him, but they kind of just took a chance on me to be honest. It was great that she had the faith in me to bring me out here.
BES: Was it weird for you to go back to playing after a year off and never having played above the high school level?
AB: It was definitely a transition. Preseason is hard for everyone coming in as a freshman, but I felt it was especially difficult with the year off. It was good though. I’m so glad I came out here.
BES: Did you think it was a big jump from high school to college?
AB: The biggest thing was that I came in and I had always been a forward and we decided that I was going to play as a defender so that was a big transition learning a whole new way to defend. Of course, I would assume that I came in worse off than if I had played. It was so much different in terms of the speed and physicality.
BES: Are you interested in somehow staying in soccer after college?
AB: No, I’m not going to. I’m sure i’ll play around and be on different teams.
BES: Would you prefer to stay in New York or move back to California?
AB: I’m going to stay out here. I want to do pediatrics. It’s a competitive field, especially for new grads, but yeah there are opportunities here that I want to explore. My sister is out here still too. She comes to the home games and lives with some of the alumni that she played with.
BES: Speaking of which, this weekend is Alumni Weekend, is your sister coming out for that?
AB: Yeah, of course. We always have a really good showing with our alumni along with the girls that we played with. It’s exciting to have them.
BES: And the team is really starting to come along too after a nice 5-1 win against St. Peter’s…
AB: Yeah, it was definitely nice to be able to put that many goals in the net. It was especially nice having our freshman step up. They’ve been a big aspect to our program this year. It was nice to get a team win where everyone contributed.
BES: What are you like away from the soccer field?
AB: Nursing takes up a heck of a lot of time between that and soccer I’m pretty busy. It’s important to me to spend a lot of time with the girls I live with. We like to go out into the city and do city stuff. I’m addicted to the TV show Lost right now. I’m on season six and it’s getting crazy.
BES: How is it that you have a challenging major, a social life, play on the soccer team, and stay on honor roll every year?
AB: For me it’s just about staying ahead of the game. I’ll take a class in the summer so that during the season I have one less class. You have to find that balance between school, soccer and having fun with your friends. I feel like I have been able to do that. Having so many teammates on the honor roll helps too because we’re all kind of on the same page. Everyone wants to see each other do well and that helps a lot.
BES: Playing with your sister, as you did in 2010, must have been a special experience. What was that like?
AB: I loved being able to get the experience of playing with her. There were times when she would say something and I would bite back, but It was great. I don’t even know what to say, I’m really glad we were able to have that experience. I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity if she wasn’t there. It was nice having her there.
BES: What’s your favorite thing to do in Brooklyn?
AB: I love going the Brooklyn Bridge and down by Brooklyn Bridge Park. That would be awesome to play down there. We bring the ball down there once and a while to play just for fun.
BES: What is your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?
AB: Favorite place to eat Grimaldi’s. That’s an easy choice.
BES: Finally, do you have any superstitions before games?
AB: <laughing> We have a lot of team superstitions. There is something I do in the locker room called “the combo”. I can’t go into details, but it’s a huge superstition before every game. We call it the combo, that’s all you need to know. <more laughing> My teammates tease me about it all the time.
Thank you so much to Alexandra for taking the time to speak with me. The Blackbirds are at home this Sunday for an Alumni Weekend game against Towson which is the Brooklyn Eagle College Game of the Week. Follow along on Twitter @BkEagleSports for live updates during the game and then check back here for recaps and photos.