May 26, 2009

Kelly Hathorn: Q and A Interview

Recent Duke University graduate Kelly Hathorn completed her collegiate soccer career in the Fall of 2008. The versatile player saw action during her first two seasons in the back before moving into an attacking role as one of the team's top forwards for her junior and senior campaigns. Over her final two seasons, she collected eight goals and contributed six assists. Hathorn, currently preparing to take the MCAT as she looks towards attending medical school, kindly took time to speak with Women's Soccer Weekly.

Hathorn in action vs. N.C. State. Duke won 3-0.
Photo Credit: Jon Gardiner, Duke Photography

Q. Now that you have had time to reflect on your collegiate career, what are you most proud of?

I think more than anything else I am most proud of the way that our team has always come together. In the last two seasons, we have made it to two Elite 8 appearances, and although the results may not have gone our way, just the process of coming together and fighting through the tournament is something that I will forever be proud of.

Especially my junior year, we were pretty much the underdog in every game we played, our bus driver got lost on the way to the Georgia game, we had to play in freezing rain in Indiana, and played in the coldest weather I have ever faced at Notre Dame—and our team never stopped working hard for each other.

I know that most of the things I will take away from the experience of playing college soccer have more to do with the character of my teammates over the past four years than how many wins or losses we accumulated.

Q. Top 5 game moments from your career?

Ahh this is a tough one—I know I’m leaving some good ones out, but here goes:

The top moment is definitely beating Carolina my freshman year. We didn't have the best of luck against them the rest of my career, and I will always remember being a little freshman playing outside back watching my teammates score the game winning goal... not to mention Robbie (Church's) celebration was pretty priceless. We replayed the video of his celebration NUMEROUS times over my four years here!! Besides that....

Scoring my first goal in college my junior year after switching positions and playing forward, Sweet 16 win over UVA my senior year (they were the only ACC team left that my class had never beaten), beating Florida State at home on my sister's senior day (our team played unbelievable that day, it was so much fun), and finally finally finally beating Clemson on our own senior day this season (after way too long of a losing streak on our end).

Q. Which of your two goals from 2008 was your favorite?

That is definitely a tough question. The first goal was nice because I had just been coming back from a sprained ankle over the summer and had just started playing that week. I was pretty out of shape and a little bit nervous even to be back playing on it at the time, so scoring that goal was pretty nice. However, the second goal against Wake Forest was such a relief-- I didn't exactly have the best of luck when it came to scoring goals this past season. To me, personally, it felt like I had hit every inch of post or had missed every opportunity I had. But through it all, I had a lot of support from my teammates and coaches and I just kept trying-- so it was really nice when that one finally went in.

Q. Are you pursuing a post-graduate degree? What schools are you considering?

I am planning on going to medical school. I had planned from the very beginning to take a year off, so hopefully I will find a research/lab job in the next few weeks. I graduated a few days ago and am already back in the library studying for the MCAT, which I will take in June. From there, the application process begins... I plan on applying to all of the North Carolina schools (Duke, UNC, Wake, and ECU,) but other than that I'm not sure.

Q. Can we get the recipe for Wassel or is it a family secret?

Haha well, to be honest, I think it is actually spelled Wassail?? But my family just thinks its funny to call it Wassel and now all of our friends spell it the same way. I had to ask my mom for this one, but she said that the recipe is:

- 1 quart apple juice

- 1/2 quart cranberry juice

- Cut 3-4 fresh oranges into 1/8s and throw them in.

- Three sticks cinnamon

- Three cloves

- Heat on the stove until the oranges sink! Then, for those that are of age, throw in some rum or whisky "to taste."

Q. Have you followed WPS at all? What are your thoughts on having a women's professional league stateside again?

I have followed the WPS a little bit. I check in on some of the girls and coaches that I know more than anything else---Rebecca Moros is playing for the Washington team and Alli Lipsher is playing with the Boston team so I will try and follow how they have been doing (and both have gotten playing time which makes me proud!!!) In addition, one of my assistant coaches for the past three years, Nathan Kipp, is now the goalie coach for the Chicago Red Stars so I try to follow how they have been doing as well. I think it is awesome that they have gotten a women's professional league stateside. The US has some of the greatest soccer players in the world, and it is amazing that they all have the opportunity to continue their soccer careers without having to go too far from home.