Bowen bounds forward

Nov. 15, 2001

By Drew McGuire Milam
The Santa Clara, Editor in Chief

Her dorm room is decorated much like any other female room on-campus. The wall covered with high school pictures, posters and, of course, every male model to grace an Abercrombie & Fitch magazine advertisement. But freshman Lana Bowen says that she contributed very little to the look of her dorm room.

"When I came I pretty much just brought my cleats and my clothes," Bowen said.

Bowen has played in an important role in this year's run to the NCAA tournament and West Coast Conference championship for the women's soccer team. After being a substitute for the first five games, Bowen made her first start a memorable one against Dayton University on Sept. 21. She scored her first career college goal and has started every game since.

Bowen got her start playing soccer when she was 7-years-old, when she played on her older brother's team, who was eight. The team was organized and run by their mother, Inger, and some of her friends. A pure Norwegian, Inger grew up around the sport of soccer and says that Lana was the only girl on the team of 14 boys, but she was the star.

"Lana had tried a lot of different sports and wasn't that enthusiastic about any of them," Inger said. "But she loved soccer from the moment she stepped onto the field."

Freshmen Alyssa Sobolik, Jaclyn Campi and Bowen were teammates before coming to the Broncos squad, as part of the Santa Clara Sonic club team for three years. The club team, which was coached by Santa Clara Assistant Coach Eric Yamamoto, works out on the Santa Clara facilities during the off-season. Head Coach Jerry Smith remembers working with the team at "I talked with [Yamamoto] after the practice about Lana," Smith said. "I told him that she was very good and I wanted to recruit her to our program. We knew that she had the potential to start for us."

The dorm room interior designer and Bowen's roommate, is also long time soccer teammate, Campi. Bowen and Campi made the decision to be roommates, which also means that they spend more time together than average roommates.

"Lana is a very good roommate," Campi said. "She is very easy going and always happy."

Part of the reason for Bowen's simplistic living arrangements is the close proximity of her home. Growing up in San Jose and attending Archbishop Mitty High School, home is just a short drive.

"Everything is going great, I am so close to home, anything I need or forget, I have," Bowen said. "I know how to do my laundry and I have a meal card, so I am basically set. It has been a really easy transition to college."

With the little time that Bowen has between classes and soccer, she enjoys making the trip up to Tahoe to snowboard, something that will have to wait until the off-season. Besides snowboarding, Bowen's wild-side may be evident by the small stud that fills the piercing in her nose, which she got during the summer before coming to Santa Clara.

"I was just craving to do something, everyone was leaving for school and starting something new and exciting. Where as I was staying close to home, I am not really rebellious, but I just had to do something."

"Lana has always been incredibly independent," Inger said. "When she was little her favorite thing to say was, 'I do that by myself.'"

Bowen's personality is also reflected of the way she plays her left fullback position on the field.

"Bowen's very intellectual, and doesn't respond emotionally," Smith said. "She's a very mature and well-rounded young woman, with a lot to offer on and off the soccer field."

Russ Baba, head coach at Archbishop Mitty, speaks very highly of the four-year varsity standout. After playing as the Lion's(?) fullback her first two years, Bowen directed the defense from the sweeper position in her junior and senior years.

"She was a take-charge type of player," Baba said. "Not only was she a vocal leader, but she also led by example. She was good at controlling the defense, very skilled, determined and a tremendous athlete."

Bowen describes herself as very sarcastic, which can catch people off guard at first.

"[Bowen] is very sarcastic," Baba said. "Her sense of humor is so dry sometimes, it goes right by people."

"Some people just don't get it at first," Campi said. "I think she's hysterical because she can be so sarcastic sometimes."

Besides being sarcastic, Inger says that her daughter has a very quick mouth and extremely fast comebacks. This has given Bowen's quick-witted teammate sophomore Kristi Candau some competition.

"They kind of battle it out," Campi said.

As the women's soccer team travels to Illinois this week for the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, it will be a whole new experience for Bowen. But in some aspects it will be just like her transition to college and she'll probably just bring her cleats and her clothes.