Junior midfielder Sam Mewis will be blogging for UCLABruins.com during the 2013 season. Mewis is a regular with the U.S. Women's Youth National Team and a two-time all-conference selection who has scored 28 points on nine goals and 10 assists in her two years as a Bruin.
This week, the members of the UCLA women's soccer team are continuing to check off days until we report for preseason. With only 19 days until our official report date, the seniors are starting to realize that their final season is almost here. There are five seniors leading the team as we head into the fall season - Jenna Richmond, Alana Munger, Chelsea Stewart, Chelsea Braun, and Crystal Shaffie. I thought it would be fun to introduce them this week and get to know a few interesting things about them.
Jenna Richmond, from Centreville, Virginia, is a sociology major set to graduate this December. Jenna wants to enter the NWSL Draft to play professionally next year. She said one of the coolest things she has ever done was go to an FC Barcelona game in Spain. Jenna always talks about her sister’s dog Huxley, and she usually plays center midfield for us. She was a great captain last year and helped lead the team to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.
Alana Munger, from Honolulu Hawaii, is a physiological science major set to graduate this December. She is a redshirt senior, so being a little older (and more mature) than the rest of us, we often call her Mama Alana; any questions, crises, or general responsibilities are usually solved or taken care of by Alana. She plays goalkeeper and is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever played with, on or off the field. She’s planning on going to medical school next year and wants to become a physician. She loves brinner (breakfast for dinner!)
Chelsea Braun, from Redwood City, California, is a communications major and wants to enter the media, marketing, or advertising industry when she graduates next year. I asked her about a few of her favorite things, and after listing sushi, fresh fruits/veggies, and homemade dinners, she stressed, “GOD do I love Yogurtland. I’d have it for every meal if I could.” Brauny, one of the most adventurous and well-traveled members of our team, has pet a lion in South Africa, gone cliff jumping in Mexico, and been parasailing in Catalina.
Chelsea Stewart, from Highlands Ranch, Colorado is a business economics major set to graduate this December. One of two Olympians currently on our team (the other is Rosie White, a junior from New Zealand), Stewie won a bronze medal last summer in London with the Canadian National Team. After graduating, Stewie wants to play professionally. She looks forward to any time she gets to spend with her family because, due to her busy schedule between UCLA and the Canadian national team, she rarely gets to spend time at home. Stewie is another fan of breakfast for dinner.
Crystal Shaffie, from San Jose, California, is a political science major set to graduate next fall. After college, Crystal thinks she will continue her education, continue playing soccer, or enter the advertising/business industry. She told me that she often listens to Andrea Bocelli when she wants to relax, singing along in the Italian language that she definitely does not have any knowledge of. Crystal loves sushi and her mom's homemade cooking!
With only five seniors this year, our team will be rounded out with larger junior, sophomore, and freshman classes. Those of us who are here for summer classes and workouts are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the rest of the team in a few weeks. We can’t wait to meet the incoming freshmen! With less than three weeks until our report date, and only a few weeks left in the summer school session, we are all getting antsy and anxious for the season to officially begin.
Off the field, Abby Dahlkemper, Sarah Killion and I are all in an intensive six-week Romanian language course that fulfills our entire foreign language requirement. Since the class is mostly athletes, it has been fun and social despite the five-hour long classes Monday-Friday. We’ve been learning the basics: Buna = Hello! I’m also taking an online film class about cinematography, which is basically another foreign language for me!
My roommates and I (Rosie White and Megan Oyster) are starting to pack up our apartment as we get ready to move in two weeks; I’m sure that event will be worthy of an entire blog post, as moving is always a mix of adventure and nightmare.
That’s all for this week - get ready to meet the junior class next Thursday!