By Trevor Wenners
Athletic Communications Assistant
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Very few people can keep up with Lauren Goetzman's determination and work ethic on the soccer field. If any.
One aspect that is apparent to anyone who has watched the Wesleyan University women's soccer team over the last few seasons is that Goetzman loves the art of competing. The competitive spirit that permeates through her bones leads to a well-rounded player, who never quits on a play and is an incredible organizer in the middle of the pitch, as her top-notch conditioning leads to her almost never coming off the field.
|Lauren Goetzman has lofty goals for her senior campaign in 2018.|
Goetzman, who holds herself to an incredibly high standard, has posted some shining moments for the Cardinals during her three-year run. On two occasions, the standout midfielder has sent the team into a frenzy with game-winning markers over Eastern Connecticut State, occurring in overtime on Sept. 26, 2017, and during regulation on Sept. 22, 2015.
The Hidden Hills, Calif. native recorded four goals and an assist this fall, including rattling off the game-winning marker during the third minute in a 6-0 triumph at Mount Holyoke on Sept. 20. The junior captain also came through with a huge insurance goal during the 32nd minute in a 2-0 victory over visiting Colby on Oct. 7.
Goetzman's heart for the game cannot be overstated, as she competed in all 15 games this fall, despite getting injured during a 2-1 overtime setback against visiting Middlebury on Oct. 8.
Goetzman took some time to speak about a variety of topics, including touching on the ways in which the Cardinals (6-8-1, 1-8-1 NESCAC) will use their numerous one-goal losses this season as motivation for the 2018 season, as the battle-tested squad will return the majority of its roster.
Q: Could you talk about your overtime game winner this season at Eastern Connecticut State?
A: Our Eastern Connecticut State match was a key opportunity for us to continue our perfect out-of-conference record. Away games during the school week are always a challenge, but we showed up and got the result we deserved. The shot was a risky one, as it was with my non-dominant foot, but I am happy I took the risk for our team. It was a great delivery from Sophia Linguiti '19, and I was ecstatic to be able to celebrate the goal we were needing.
Q: This season, six of your eight NESCAC Conference losses have been by one goal. On one hand, that must be frustrating, but on the other hand, it also shows how close the team is to being one of the top squads in the conference. How are you going to learn from these heartbreaking defeats, and in which ways do you think these experiences will benefit you heading into your senior season?
A: Our one-goal losses have not been easy to accept this season. The majority of them were overtime and double-overtime losses, and were merely missed opportunities. We were the leading team in shots within the league, and keeping this in mind moving forward is going to be the key to our future success next season. We have felt the sting of losses where we have been the better team – proven by our game statistics and work ethic. I am confident that this will be a critical lesson for us moving forward, as we will be hungrier than ever before, to take back those games in which we deserved the result. These losses are going to be the experience that allows us to travel so far next season, and I cannot wait to have our entire team back for this opportunity. We will be one year older, hungrier and wiser.
Q: Could you talk about what you have learned from being a captain?
A: Being captain has been an invaluable experience for me this season. It is not easy to try and motivate a team on your own, or as a group of three. I am lucky we have so many individuals that lead my example on this team – my class especially. The most rewarding experience has been witnessing younger players on this team become invested in the program and feeling not only comfortable, but eager to have a voice and lead this team in their own ways.
Q: How did you become so strong with the ball in your possession?
A: Prior to Wesleyan, a majority of my time was spent at club soccer practice, like most players on this team. In addition, I spent a summer competing in Israel for the UEFA European Cup prior to my freshman year at Wesleyan, which gave me an opportunity to develop skills I never thought I could. I always found soccer a natural sport because I wanted to fight for the ball in every way I could, not just for the sake of keeping the ball, but for the sake of my team.
Q: Would you rather play when it is really warm or cold?
A: I definitely rather play when it is really cold. I tend to have better stamina in the cold because I am better hydrated, and I can always fit on some extra layers if it is unbearable.
Q: Would you rather score the game winner or assist on the game winner?
A: Scoring the game winner. If you asked anyone about their game-winning goals, I bet they would remember the exact time, place, play and feeling.
Q: What is something that no one knows about you?
A: Something people may not know about me is that I have a twin brother and Hebrew was our first language.
Q: What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on a soccer field?
A: The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me on the soccer field was a header play. I went up for a header against another player in front of me, she swung her head backward, and I fractured my nose. It was not pretty rushing off the field.
Q: What made you decide to come all the way across the country and enroll at Wesleyan?
A: Head coach Eva Meredith and the team have always been so welcoming. I only applied to schools on the East Coast because I wanted to have a new experience for four years. Wesleyan's liberal arts curriculum and driven team environment sold me after my first college visit.