April 28, 2009

Chelsey Hannesson: Q and A Interview

Defender Chelsey Hannesson, one of Eastern Washington's leaders, starred in the Eagles backline throughout the 2008 campaign. At the end of the year, the junior free-kick specialist was named to the Big Sky All-Conference Second Team. Hannesson, who hails from Langley, British Columbia, took time out of her spring schedule to speak with Women's Soccer Weekly.

Photo Credit: goeags.com

Q. Langley native Tessa Locke joins the squad this fall. Did you ever compete with or against her growing up in Langley?

A. I have never had the opportunity to compete against Tessa Locke, but because of my own curiosity I did talk to mutual players the two of us have played with or against in the Langley soccer community and have heard great things about her. I am very eager to spend my last season here as an Eagle as her teammate. Knowing how competitive Langley Soccer, as well as British Columbia Soccer, is as a whole, she will fit in quite well with the aggressiveness and athleticism they are known for.

Q. What have you been working on this spring?

A. This spring I am focusing on two specific things, the first being fitness. It's a bit easier to be a fit player who is not technically efficient in soccer, but to be a technically efficient player who is unfit in soccer is merely impossible. And it's the one thing I can always find room for improvement. As an athlete and with the high expectations from my coach, it's hard to avoid the importance of fitness when, on a week-to-week basis, we are pushed to the limit and only the players who pass the fitness tests are looked at as contenders for a spot in the starting 11 or in the 18 players in the travelling squad. The second thing I have been focusing on is my main role on the team. I am a defender, so improving my knowledge in my position is what I strive to do every time I step onto the field. Working hard and listening to the information my coaches give me are a few things I take advantage of to further my soccer knowledge.

Q. Will you be playing this summer at all?

A. For the past two years, I have committed myself to spending my summers training in Cheney, Wash., home of Eastern Washington University, and this third year will be no different. I have learned that the time and effort I have put in before preseason has given me a good head start going into our first game. Even though it is hard to give up the time to go back to Langley, B.C., to see my family, my sisters especially, I know that I am only benefiting myself and hopefully inspiring my teammates to do just the same.

Q. What is the outlook for the EWU backline in '09?

A. The defensive line on the Eastern Washington soccer team is what I work hard on perfecting every single day. The girls that play with me as defenders are not only my close friends, but amazing athletes as well. Last year was our first season spent as a back line together; it included Hannah Kreminski, Lyndsey Martin, myself and Sara Byrne. Going from being the youngest on the defense my sophomore year to being a team captain and the oldest on the line the following season has given me a load of responsibility and higher expectations for myself. However, the talent and commitment that I and the rest of the defensive line have put forth gives me great comfort and confidence going into the 2009 season, no question about it.

Q. How did you react to earning a spot on the Big Sky Second-Team All-Conference?

A. Making second team All-Big Sky Conference was something I was very proud of. It felt amazing to be recognized for the hard work I put into every practice and game, and to do it in the same year I became team captain made me feel like I was benefiting the team in the role I was given. I also felt even more confident when I found out that my other 2009 teammates, Brittany Sparks, Lyndsey Martin and Sara Byrne had also made either All-Big Sky second team or honorable mention. It immediately gave me the drive to compete even harder and see what the team can achieve this upcoming season.

Q. Thus far, what has been your favorite moment from your soccer career at EWU?

A. Since I began playing with the EWU soccer team, I have had many memorable and favorite moments. The one that sticks out in my mind a little more than the rest is our game against Long Beach State University, who were a top-25 team. I was a freshman and was just beginning my experience as a Division I athlete. I played at center midfield that year along with previous players Abby Jensen and Cat Baller. The entire game was split evenly, possession wise, shots for and against and even the aggressiveness during the game was equal. The difference was how bad our team wanted to win. I remember being a young freshman standing in the middle of the group listening to the seniors pump the rest of the girls up, intensity and passion just pouring into our ears right before kick off. I had, at that point, never felt more energized and confident to start a game with this team. We won the game with a one-goal difference, 2-1, but right from the first whistle I knew we had it in the bag.

Q. Do you have any personal goals for the fall?

A. For the upcoming 2009 season I have so many goals I want to reach, team goals as well as personal goals. The personal goal I am most focused on working toward is my leadership role on the team. Whether I am center back or outside back, I want to be able to go into every game confident and able to communicate with my teammates as accurately as possible. I want my knowledge of the game to continue to grow and not only benefit my game, but my teammates’ as well.

Q. What are your thoughts on the new Women's Professional Soccer league?

A. When I heard about the new Women's Professional Soccer league, I was immediately excited. Opportunities for women soccer players, especially in Division I, are going to increase tremendously. I definitely want to further my career beyond collegiate soccer, and I can only assume other women will jump at this opportunity when their college careers are over, as well. With this new league, it gives me a lot more options on what I want to do with my soccer career, and it gives me that competitive drive to keep improving once my last year here at Eastern Washington University is over.

Photo Credit:


thageage on April 30, 2009 at 1:56 PM said...

Chelsey is not only a great player she is a great person and leader as well. We are so lucky to have her in our program. You rock Chelsey! -Coach T

Anonymous said...

What a great article. I enjoyed reading about your goals and plans to continue your soccer in to the profession ranks. Keep up the good work. Your Best Is Yet To Be. Bobby, Susan, Jevon and Brittany some of your Fans.