Wake Forests Maeke Boreel began her field hockey career at seven years old, but she never dreamed of the success she and her teammates would achieve over the last three-plus seasons.

Boreel, a native of Almen, Holland, came to the United States unsure of whether she would stay for more than a year, but all of that changed once she got here.

The senior midfielder made an immediate impact as a freshman in 2002, starting every game of her rookie season and helping lead the Demon Deacons to their first of three-straight NCAA Championships.

I wanted to get the experience of coming here, said Boreel. I was originally just going to come here for a year and just see what happened, but I liked it so much I decided to stay for four years.

Initially, Boreels transition was a little more difficult that the average student-athletes. She not only had to learn to speak English fluently, despite knowing the basics, but had to adjust to a totally different way of training for field hockey. I used to practice twice a week my whole life " an hour and a half maximum " and then play one game a week, said Boreel. I had never lifted any weights before, either. So, going from practicing twice a week to every day, with a lot of running and lifting, and getting used to the (warmer) weather was really hard.

Boreel made the changes look easy as the teams third-leading scorer with 12 goals and seven assists during her freshman season, while making the Deans List and Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll.

Each season Boreel has outdone her past accomplishments, earning All-ACC honors in the last two seasons and leading the nation with a school-record 20 assists in 2004. She has been a major part of Wake Forests three NCAA Championships, earning All-Tournament honors in 2003 and 2004.

Despite all of her individual success, Boreel believes that team unity has been the best part of her collegiate experience.

We play for each other and not for ourselves " we really are a unit, said Boreel. I think being a part of this team is amazing. Its great making best friends with your teammates " the team is really important to me.

Now, a part of a senior class that has posted a 62-5 mark over the last three years, Boreel has the chance to pass on some advice to a fellow countryman. Freshman Minou Gimbrere also hails from The Netherlands where field hockey is a very popular sport.

If she has any questions about her English, or in general about being here in this country, obviously Im going to help her out, said Boreel. Im going to try not to help her out too much, because I think its an awesome experience for her to hang out with her teammates and other students. I want her to be a part of the whole experience and not just learn from me.

Wake Forest has started the 2005 season with a 4-0 record, including a 2-1 victory against ACC foe Duke on Sept. 10. The win against the Blue Devils was the 200th of head coach Jen Averills career.

If they keep up their winning ways, the Demon Deacons have a shot at becoming the first Division I field hockey team to win four consecutive titles.

We always say that were not defending anything, said Boreel. We dont think about the last three years. We do have a really good team again, but its a new year and we still have a lot to learn. We do have the same goals, but we dont try to look to the past or future. Wake Forest is the top-ranked team in the STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, but will face stiff competition in the ACC, as Maryland, North Carolina and Duke are ranked two through four.