How old were you when you started playing soccer?
I think my parents first signed me up for “Team USA” at age five, but for the first two years (at least) I was much more interested in picking flowers and climbing trees than I was in actually playing soccer at practices.
What is your favorite thing about soccer?
This is an unfair question – it’s the beautiful game! [Laughs.] There’s too much to love. Here at Williams, though, I would have to say my teammates are my favorite thing about soccer. They’re the ones who make it as fun, challenging and rewarding as it is every day of the year. Whether I’m with them on Cole [Field] or running sprints in the offseason, they’re the ones who motivate me to do that last 120. In the actual game of soccer I absolutely love shutting out a talented opposing offense – forwards live for scoring and there’s nothing like denying them that.
I know you’re from California. How has the transition been from warm weather to the climate of New England?
When I got to Williams for freshman year my warmest coat was a North Face fleece and I was used to wearing Tom’s shoes every day. As it turns out, neither of those are particularly winter-proof. For that reason the transition was a bit of a shock, but I can honestly say that I have yet to open a door and turn around because it was too cold to go outside (which I was fully expecting to do at some point that first winter). As a seasoned senior, I now understand why 50 degrees in April means sundresses in Williamstown, while in California it means down parkas.
And you weren’t even in New England last semester. How was being in Copenhagen?
Super hygge (meaning a really great/cozy/cool vibe in Danish). I have severe wanderlust, so studying abroad was something I had been looking forward to basically since middle school and the five months I spent in Copenhagen and around the rest of Europe were one big adventure. Being totally in control of my own adventure was incredible, even when it meant realizing I was at the wrong airport, having hostel roommates who snored so loudly they shook the bunk bed, trying to learn a language that sounds like gibberish or getting stuck in a bus door as an Italian bus driver drove away and yelled at me. I’m still in awe of the places I got to see, the food I ate and the people I met.
Was Copenhagen your favorite city? Where was the best place you traveled?
Of course I have a soft spot for Copenhagen, but Cairo, [Egypt] and the Norwegian fjords (which couldn’t be more different from each other) were two of my favorite trips. I went to Cairo because my uncle was living there at the time, as was my freshman-year roommate from Williams. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the city with people who knew their way around and it absolutely was. I got to sit inside the burial chamber of a pyramid, ride a camel, see the treasures from King Tut’s tomb, sail on the Nile, walk around Tahrir Square and see so many other things that were entirely new for me. I had never been in a place where I was such an obvious minority or where I wouldn’t have been able to navigate by myself because I couldn’t read the signs or speak the language, and it was an invaluable experience. The fjords, on the other hand, offered some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen, and I think I would still be hiking around in those mountain valleys if Norway wasn’t the most ridiculously expensive country.
What did you miss most about Williams while you were abroad?
Skyr yogurt. Is that not a real answer? I should probably say that I missed the quality of professors – honestly we’ve got some of the best here.
What can people find you doing when you are not on the soccer field?
Anything that gets me outside! If the weather is nice I’d love to spend my days hiking, biking, running, skiing or even just hanging out on Poker lawn. One of my goals this winter is to hike up [Mt.] Greylock and ski down, if weather and snow levels allow. I also work in the Writing Workshop in Sawyer, spend quite a bit of time in labs for the various science courses I take and have been known to frequent log lunches on Friday afternoons.
Last but not least. What’s your go-to snack bar order?
Venue: ’82 Grill
Toppings: Goat cheese, tomato and pesto
Review: Try it. It’s fantastic.