By Kavin Mistry
It’s not often you are given the opportunity in sports to represent your country at the highest level. San Jose State women’s soccer forward Dorthe Hoppius got a taste of what that feels like.
Earlier this month, the star striker became an active member on Germany’s under 20 roster during the 2016 U20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Hoppius is also the first active student-athlete in SJSU women’s soccer history to be called up to represent a national team for game action.
“It was an honor to be there and represent my home country,” Hoppius said. “The atmosphere was just amazing and the people there were so welcoming.”
She played in parts of two matches during the tournament and while she had no goals or assists, Hoppius embraced the role of having to come off the German bench.
“It’s sometimes not about you, it’s about the team,” Hoppius said. “And that you need to go one game at a time and you cannot think for one second what might happen after you win that game.”
Germany made it as far as the quarterfinals before being knocked out earlier than projected against France 1-0.
Hoppius was a full-time starter at SJSU this season and led the team in goals, assists, points as well as shots on goal.
For the National team it was all about getting a taste of international soccer. She played a total of 33 minutes in the red, black and yellow.
“It was a different experience,” Hoppius said. “Learning how it is to not be the person playing 90 minutes and sitting on the bench waiting to get subbed in and being ready for when it happens or it doesn’t.”
She said this exposure will help further her soccer career going forward and has helped her understand different styles of play which she can carry over into next year at SJSU.
One of the perks of playing internationally is the crowd.
“They all waved to our bus everyday smiling and cheering,” Hoppius said. “In the quarterfinal the stadium was packed with 10,000 people who were loud and cheering us on.”
Hoppius said the style of play was easy to pick up and she was able to mesh with the other players of team Germany well while she was there. She said she kept in contact with her teammates at SJSU while traveling and they were excited to see how far she had come.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play in a big stadium with so many people in it,” Hoppius said.
Hoppius, currently a junior at SJSU, will be playing her senior season next year for the Spartans next fall.