May 4, 2011

Matheson Looking Forward to Larger Leadership Role

By Carolyn Linck, '11

Sophomore Lauren Matheson (LM) is using the spring season to improve her strength, technique and communication skills on the soccer field.  Looking forward to her junior year and a larger leadership role, Matheson and the rest of the Broncos are hoping the games they play in May will serve them well in the fall.  Recently www.SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Matheson about the loss of a strong senior class, her goals for the remainder of her Bronco soccer career and her best memories with teammates.

SCB: What are you working to improve this spring as a team and on an individual level?

LM: This spring we are working to improve on playing together as a unit and finding that flow and chemistry that will prepare us for our fall season. On an individual level we are all finding our strengths and weaknesses so we can identify the areas we need to focus on. Personally, I've taken this spring season to really focus on improving my technique and strength as well as my communication and leadership on the team.

SCB: The team won its first spring game against Berkeley on April 21, 1-0.  You will play in four more games during May.  How do you think these games will help the team in the fall? 

LM: We were all very excited about our win last week against Cal, especially since it was our first game. The team and coaching staff believe it was a great start to the spring season, but we still have a lot of work to do. Being able to evaluate our play in a game setting against good, competitive teams will help us really pick out what we need to work on and assess our improvement so we can be ready for the fall.

SCB: Do you see your role expanding on the team as you transition from under to upper classman?

LM:  I definitely see my role expanding into a more mature role on the team. I will be having more responsibilities and taking more of a leadership role, especially since our freshman and sophomore classes are so large. This spring and next fall I'm challenging myself to have an even larger impact on the team and in the games.

SCB: In your freshman season you were named to the All-WCC Freshmen Team and last year during your sophomore campaign you were All-WCC Honorable Mention.  What do these honors mean to you? How are you hoping to duplicate this success in the upcoming 2011 season?

LM:  It's always nice when someone recognizes you individually as a player, especially when it's by other coaches you compete against. It's very motivating and encourages me to do even better. Next season, I know that I, along with my team, won't be satisfied until we bring the WCC Championship and National Championship back to Santa Clara. All I can do is play my role, give it everything I have and hope for the best.

SCB: What has been your best memory with Santa Clara soccer so far?

LM:  I have way too many to even try to think of just one: when I was left in the storage compartment of the bus, our team camping trip last summer, sailing around Santa Cruz, when Nikki Ambrose mixed up her left from right foot – the list goes on. It's always a blast! Whether we're running at 5 am with Coach Marshall or celebrating in the locker room, there's a guarantee that there's going to be some laughs and good memories. I'm so blessed to play for such a great program and to be around such amazing people.

SCB: What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your soccer career at SCU?

LM:  Like I said previously, I hope we bring back the WCC and National Championships to Santa Clara. I really believe we can do it, and this program and school deserves it. I want to leave my mark by the time I leave SCU. I also hope to set the standard and be an example for future players to come.

SCB: The team is losing five seniors, Kendra Perry, Amanda Poach, Lindsey Johnson, Maxine Goynes and Anessa Patton.  How do you think the team will fill these holes in 2011?

LM:  It's not easy losing key players like this senior class, but we have a lot of younger players who are ready to step up and prove themselves. I know they'll get the job done.