Charlotte Stapenhorst is currently one of the greatest strengths of the German women’s national team. As a talented 18-year-old, she first entered the international ice hockey senior stage in 2013 and scored her first senior goal against Korea at the Hockey World League Final in Argentina.
Charlotte Stapenhosrst German Hockey Women’s Striker
Name: Charlotte Stapenhorst (Germany)
Shirt number: 12
International appearances: 99
Place of birth: Berlin (GER)
Club: UHC Hamburg
Since then, Stapenhorst or “Stapi” has become a dynamo that regularly shoots the ball into the goal during their 99-game career.
Stapenhorst, bronze medalist at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, scored the goal with which Germany won over New Zealand in the bronze medal game. At the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London, Stapenhorst seemed to be on the right track for a great tournament, captivating defenders with impressive 3D skills and scoring three goals in Germany’s first two games, including one against Argentina.
Germany’s early exit from the competition meant that Stapenhorst’s talent in front of the goal was not fully broadcast on this occasion.
She was back in shape and scored six goals during the FIH Hockey Pro League in 2019, including a three-goal game against Belgium. With the current season due to Covid-19, Stapenhorst is one of the many, many athletes trying to find ways to stay fit and healthy while activities are restricted.
While returning to the competition is a big challenge for Stapy, the chance to be part of the team again is what she’s most looking forward to.
A Little Chitchat With Charlotte Stapenhorst
Who or what made you take a stick and play hockey first?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: It’s easy, my two brothers started playing here in Berlin shortly before me. They brought home trophies and other things so that I could easily say that I wanted to do that. That is why I started.
Who influenced your career the most?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: Apart from my brothers who took me there first, I think my idol is Natascha Keller. I think she was one of the best players in the world and watched her crazy eye like her play, or at least try to.
If there was one sentence that summarized your playing style or your attitude on the field, what would it be?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: my style? This is difficult! I love scoring goals and helping my team. And my 3D skills are not bad.
What moment in the field are you most proud of and why?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: My proudest moment on the field with the team was the Olympic bronze medal [game against New Zealand. Germany won 2-1]. Nothing came close to it. It was a disappointing World Cup for me in 2018, especially when we broke off the quarter-final against Spain, but I had a really good game against Argentina and a pretty good goal. I like to think back on it.
Four years have passed since Rio 2016. How did you change as a player during this time?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: In my opinion, my playing style has changed quite a bit. I participate in the game much more. At the Olympics, my main goal was to defend, defend, defend, and, if possible, do something forward. That didn’t really work.
In those four years, I grew up quite a bit, not only physically, but also in my playing style on the court. Receive balls, pass and see my teammates and make better decisions about when to go alone, when to do my 3-D things, and pass. That’s a lot of change.
The situation in Covid-19 has obviously affected everyone’s preparations. But what are some examples of activities that you and the squad used to maintain a sense of “team” during the vesting period?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: The Covid 19 situation is pretty difficult for all teams. In most countries, it is even worse than here in Germany – in some countries you cannot go outside at all. As a team, we have zoom meetings (online video program) and try to do things that we can do at home without material (equipment).
We train together for half an hour, that’s the stuff we do. Our yoga teacher also does zoom meetings with us, so we do things like that. Otherwise, every player has their own small gym at home and at least tries to stay fit. It’s not the same in these difficult times, of course, but we do our best.
What part of the return to the game after this forced break are you most looking forward to?
Charlotte Stapenhorst: I’m really looking forward to seeing the girls, it’s easy. It’s not even about playing hockey, although I love it, it’s also like the coaches and staff who go on tour and just live with them because we spend so much time together. It’s not just about playing hockey on the pitch, it’s also about seeing the girls again.