Liz Young ’19 has made an immediate impact on the Wesleyan women’s soccer team, having scored three goals on the season, including twice in the last five minutes against Tufts. The first goal tied the game at one and the second goal, an incredible curling effort into the top right corner, won the game for the Cardinals.
Young, who hails from Lincoln, RI, also scored in the season opener against the University of Massachusetts Boston.
The Argus sat down with Liz to talk soccer, life as a first-year at Wesleyan, and perhaps most importantly, “Bridesmaids.”
The Argus: Congratulations, Liz, on all your recent success. Why don’t you lead us through your game-winning goal against Tufts last Tuesday.
Liz Young: I actually had to watch the video to even remember what happened. It all happened so quick. I got a pass from my teammate and was dribbling down the sideline when I actually lost the ball. But then the ball was knocked in behind me and I went after it and stretched my leg to get to the ball and I just hit it. Nine times out of ten I wouldn’t have gotten that in. There were 14 seconds left and it was a last-minute attempt.
A: What was going through your mind after you scored the goal?
LY: I couldn’t even believe it. As a freshman I wasn’t even expecting to play that much so the fact that it was our first NESCAC game and that we won made it so great. It was such a huge moment for me that’s hard to even explain.
A: So has that win given the team some confidence going forward?
LY: Absolutely. We have a lot to prove this year, since the team didn’t do so well in the NESCAC last season. The fact that we beat Tufts, one of the top teams in the NESCAC, was huge for us and certainly has given us some confidence. We did have a rough game against Bowdoin, but we’re ready to get back to it.
A: So you guys have Eastern Connecticut State University coming up, how are you feeling about that?
LY: Yeah, on Tuesday. I don’t want to say some games are easier than others because they’re all challenging, but since it’s not a league game, it isn’t quite as daunting. We still need to focus on our game. When we underestimate teams, that’s when we play poorly.
A: So coming in as a [first-year], did you expect to be contributing offensively to the team as much as you have so far?
LY: No, especially because I originally played in the central midfield. But because of my speed, coach moved me up top to forward. I was not expecting to start, to really play or anything, but coach watched me play and decided I needed to start. Playing with seniors was really intimidating at first, but I’ve gotten more confident.
A: Like I noted before, you’re leading the team offensively, and you’ve actually already matched the goal totals of the two leading scorers last season, with three. How does that feel?
LY: I actually didn’t know that. It feels great. Honestly I didn’t have much confidence coming into the season but coach and my teammates have really helped me to build that. It’s really helping me to know that I can not only play with these girls, but can play an important role.
A: You’re from Rhode Island and you went to high school there. How has the adjustment been from high school ball? Obviously it hasn’t affected you too much.
LY: I’ve actually talked about this with a lot of people. In high school it’s so much easier, especially in Rhode Island, which is a small state, with okay public school soccer. It’s easy to be the best player on the team and to dribble around everyone and what not. And then I came here and every player is just awesome. So it was a tough transition at first. I just felt so behind. I’m slowly getting into it, but it was hard.
A: What has your soccer experience been throughout your life?
LY: So I started playing when I was five. And I played hockey, track, and lacrosse in high school, but soccer is the one thing that I loved the most. I loved playing in games, I loved practicing and soccer was the sport I was the best at. My whole life I’ve just really loved everything about it.
A: Do you think having a multi-sport background has helped you with your soccer?
LY: Any type of sport will help you with whatever sport you want to focus on, especially in terms of being part of a team, and working with other people. Playing other sports also helped me to stay in shape in the offseason. Track especially helped me with my endurance.
A: What would you say has been the defining moment of your soccer career so far?
LY: Honestly, it really was scoring the winning goal against Tufts. I’ve never had a moment like that in soccer. I can’t think of any other time when I’ve had such a defining impact on a game, and to do it as time expired just made it that much better.
A: Let’s get away from soccer for a moment. You’re a [first-year], how are you enjoying Wesleyan?
LY: I love it. I was really nervous at first and when I got here I wondered if I made the right choice. But I love the people here, it’s a great environment, and it’s just an awesome school.
A: Do you think your soccer experience is complementing your school experience?
LY: Oh, no doubt. Having soccer has been great. I already had made friends going into the year, and my teammates have introduced me to so many people. Everyone on the team is so helpful. If I have questions or something, there’s always someone who can answer them for me.
A: So what are your academic interests? Anything you’re thinking about majoring in?
LY: I’m in a lot of science classes right now. I’m thinking Bio.
A: Is there a favorite class so far?
LY: I actually really like my biology class with Professor McAlear. He’s great.
A: What is your favorite movie and why?
LY: Wow this is actually a tough one. This might sound really pathetic, but probably “Bridesmaids”. It’s a team favorite and it is one movie that I can watch and laugh at and every time. It’s just hilarious.
A: One last soccer question to finish up. Last year, the team really lacked firepower. How does it feel to be that firepower this season?
LY: Oh it just feels great. Being able to make an impact for Wesleyan women’s soccer has just been extremely rewarding. We have such a great group of freshman and I was just hoping to play at the beginning of the season. To be able to not only play, but to really help the team has been very special.