Captains’ Corner: Tressa Palcheck ’17


Tressa Palcheck ’17 Women’s Soccer Schaumburg, Ill. Residence:  Meadow Street
Tressa Palcheck ’17
Women’s Soccer
Schaumburg, Ill.
Meadow Street

When did you start playing soccer?

I started playing in second grade, so around the age of seven.

Was soccer always your major sport growing up?

Growing up, I played a bunch of different sports. I tried everything. I played basketball, softball, volleyball for a long time and obviously soccer too. I’m a triplet, so my siblings played a bunch of different sports until we all found the sports that we liked the best.

What position do you play?

I play goalkeeper.

How did you come to play in net and what particular aspects do you like most about it?

I think I started mostly because no one else really wanted to play when we were little. (Laughs). I like it because it’s challenging, in a bit of a different way. I think when you’re young, a lot of people want to play goalie because you don’t want to run around on the field and it’s less work, so I definitely had a moment of that when I was younger. Now, it’s a different mental challenge than some of the other positions. Obviously there are challenges at every position, but I personally like goalkeeping because you can focus on some of the more technical things but also you can see the big picture of the game. I enjoy controlling the play from the back and being able to see how plays are developing and being able to help my team.

When someone is stepping up to the spot to take a penalty kick, what is your strategy to try and defend it ?

There’s a couple things you can do to read a PK. You can watch their hips or the way they plant their foot. Some people just like to go one way and play the odds, but I enjoy trying to read the shot, not that that’s always easy. I’d rather do that than just dive one way randomly. One of our other goalkeepers, Olivia [Barnhill ’19], is better at stopping PKs I think. She stopped three in penalties in our Elite Eight game this past year. (Laughs).

What was it like winning a national championship last year?

Wow, it was amazing. It’s still kind of an unreal experience. It came from so much hard work. The team put in so many hours so I think it was exciting for a number of reasons. Getting to celebrate that with some of your closest friends was amazing. Realizing how much work we put in to get there [to the Championship] was an incredible feeling.

What was the journey like from the beginning of the season to the championship?

The year before, we had lost in the championship match in PKs, so we started off the season knowing that was where we wanted to end up again. We kind of had that in the back of our minds throughout the season. We really wanted to make it our own season, having it as motivation but not necessarily as a focal point. We had to take it one game at a time and realize how important everything we did was. We kept the big goal in mind without getting complacent with where we were at. We tried to stay excited, yet stay humble, and earn everything on the way.

What are some of the strategies for the team this year, since you are coming off the championship season?

It’s a little different because we don’t have that heartbreak from last season. It’s similar because we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. We don’t want to feel like anything is going to be handed to us. We’re really focusing on enjoying the process. This year, we want to be enjoying what we do as well as enjoying being together. I think keeping that element of enjoyment and fun, while also working hard, will put us in a good position to get back there.

How has this year been different as a captain?

I think that, as a senior and a captain, you have a lot more things to think about in terms of team dynamic, and you are the one who is creating the team culture and setting the vision for the younger players. It’s kind of exciting because you know exactly what is going into the behind the scenes work for the season. It’s exciting to see younger players develop and it’s exciting to see how you and the rest of your class can shape the vision of the team. It’s an exciting shift to have more control and awareness.

What is your go-to snack bar order?

A grilled cheese with tomato and bacon and fried green beans. Sometimes I’ll switch it up and get a frost with regular fries.

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