Jack Chat: Soccer’s freshmen from Las Vegas
By Christopher Albas-Martin
The Lumberjack sat down with the five freshmen soccer players from the Las Vegas area who all played for Las Vegas Premier ’94 Girls White team. The players settled down to talk about how they adapted to the altitude, the best game they have played in and whom their sporting idols are.
The Lumberjack: You played for the same club team, did you know that all of you were coming to NAU or was it a surprise when you all showed up?
Haley Wingender: We all kind of talked about it, like after one person was looking here it kind of brought our attention to it, so we all knew, yeah.
Alexia Gonzalez: We all knew. It was kind of like one after the other. Then the word got around, so it was exciting.
Natalie Gibertson: It was like, one of us committed, then another committed, then three more committed; it was just kind of a ripple effect.
Sarah Pate: It was kind of a ripple effect. We knew before coming, yeah.
LJ: How have you adapted to Flagstaff; did you struggle with the altitude?
HW: It was really hard at first. [On] the first day, we were throwing up [during] the first fitness day. I took a lot of iron pills, that’s what they told us. Then, I guess if you keep running then you naturally get adapted.
AG: The first training there was a little bit of sickness going on, but after a while it got a little bit easier and I love it here in Flagstaff.
NG: Definitely, judgement day.
Syrina Lopez: First day of summer training, we pretty much all threw up.
LJ: Would you want to play professionally?
HW: Yeah. Actually, it’s like a dream of mine. So whatever I can do to make that a reality that would be awesome.
AG: I don’t know professionally. I want to try and get on the Mexican national team, so that would be one of my greatest experiences ever, but we will see, I guess.
SP: I think it will be really cool, but it is definitely going to take a lot of work to get at that level.
SL: Well, Haley wants to play pro, Haley Wingender.
LJ: Do you have any superstitions before a game?
HW: I can’t play with two left socks.
AG: No, I am not very superstitious. I just know if we go out there and work hard we will get the result we want.
NG: I definitely have a lucky sports bra and sliders that I always wear and I know which sports bras not to wear. I have one white sports bra that I wear every game and if I don’t wear it, we don’t do too well.
SL: No, I just go with it.
LJ: What’s the best game you’ve ever played in?
HW: I’d have to say my senior year state championship. I got 2 goals and an assist and we won 4–0.
AG: I am not sure. Probably just, I think that the whole defense has pretty good games, like our past 5 games have been a shutout and of course with help of our goalie, [junior Lauren] Weaver, but I think all those games were really good for our team.
NG: Definitely a game in club against Surf, the national champions, who we ended up beating in penalties. I stopped three, so that was pretty cool.
Cassidy McLean: We played this one game against Oregon. We were down 3–0 at half time and we ended up winning 4–3 in regionals one time. That was a really good game.
SL: Mine was probably a game when I scored from like halfway against Surf and then we ended up winning.
LJ: What music do you listen to before a game?
HW: Before a game I listen to a lot of rap and rock.
AG: I do not know, just my favorite playlist over and over again. I like everything besides country, that does not pump me up at all, kind of the same songs.
NG: I blast music in my headphones before a game. I have got to be honest and say I listen to Tyga before games.
CMc: ’80s rock.
SP: One of the main songs that I have been listening to is Taylor Swift’s in the locker room [is]“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”
SL: We have a warm-up CD, but I like alternative music and indie.
LJ: Who is your sporting hero?
HW: I really like Diego Forlan [player for S.C. Internacional]. He played for Uruguay; he is a great player [and] he is getting older, but I just love everything about him.
AG: I do not think I have got one person, but I love to watch FC Barcelona. They are my favorite team and I watch them as much as I can. And I think they are amazing.
NG: I thought [Forlan]; he still holds records that he set in his college and it has been a long time, and my uncle.
SP: My dad as well.
SL: My dad.
LJ: Who is your favorite team?
HW: I will say basketball, and my favorite team is the Lakers. They are a great team.
AG: FC Barcelona.
NG: I do not really have a favorite soccer team, but my favorite football team is the Steelers.
SP: I like the Bulls now because my favorite basketball player is Nate Robinson and he just switched to the Bulls.
LJ: Who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?