Athlete of the Week: Ash Rutherford ’20

Athlete of the Week: Ash Rutherford ’20

Our Athlete of the Week for this edition comes to us from more than 10,000 miles away. Ash Rutherford ’20 of the Pacific field hockey team hails from Cape Town, South Africa, where she previously attended Rhenish High School. Prior to being recruited to Pacific, Rutherford made a name for herself as a highly-decorated player and student.

Rutherford was named the Rhenish All-Round Sportswoman of the Year in 2015 and was awarded the School Field Hockey Best Player Award in 2013 and 2014; she also won the Deputy Head President’s Award in 2014. Rutherford has served as captain of the Boland U18A Hockey Team and was a member of the U18A South African Team for indoor and outdoor hockey.

Coming from a country whose national field hockey team is ranked eleventh in the world by the FIH World Ranking, a player of Rutherford’s caliber certainly had other options when Pacific Head Coach Andy Smith began recruiting her. In the end, though, Rutherford chose to become become a Tiger. When asked how she was getting acquainted with her new home here at Pacific, Rutherford did not hesitate in her praise for the University. “I’m loving it. It really is a great experience, and I really love the campus. So far I’m still experiencing and exploring it all.”

When The Pacifican asked Rutherford about her personal goals for this season, she expressed that she is mostly focused on becoming comfortable in her new situation. “I think because it’s so early and because it’s a completely new experience being so far from home, I would say that one of my biggest goals is just finding my feet.” Ever level-headed in her approach, Rutherford is intent on making the most of her time at Pacific. “I want to enjoy these experiences as I learn new things and meet new people.”

In addition to getting acclimated to a new country and school, Rutherford is tackling another challenge, although this one is physical. Rutherford is returning to the field after a lengthy recovery from a surgery on her foot. “I’ve been out for quite a while. I’m just looking to find my feet, increase my confidence, and get back into hockey.”

When Rutherford isn’t playing field hockey, you will likely find her engaging in some other form of physical activity.  She enjoys all sorts of sports, especially swimming and water polo. “I love being outdoors and going on adventures,” said Rutherford. She also cherishes time with her friends, and is fascinated by the subject of nutrition. “Anything to do with nutrition, I will be very interested in.”

When asked about what she misses most from home, Rutherford was quick to mention her friends and family. Aside from personal relationships, though, there is nothing she misses more than the classic South African snack, the rusk. “That’s something from South Africa that Americans don’t know or have. It’s like a baked, very hard bread that usually has nuts or raisins in it,” explained Rutherford. “You dip it in tea or coffee.”

While Rutherford has not explored enough restaurants in the Stockton area to pick one as her favorite, we know there is at least one thing The Lair could add to its menu to make Rutherford a regular costumer. “Americans should definitely invest in rusks.”

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