Golden Gopher goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs will participate in the U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team training camp at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. from Nov. 24-Dec. 1. Hobbs is one of two goalkeepers invited to participate in the camp that will serve as training for the mid-December event as well as the CONCACAF Women's U-20 Championship in the Cayman Islands in January. Hobbs will journal her experiences as she participates in the weeklong camp.
Day 1: Sunday Nov. 24, 2013
It started off waking up pretty early this morning. Right when I woke up the nerves kicked in for the week to come. My parents drove me to the airport and my mom started crying which was sad but she only wants the best for me. The flight was about three hours; it took a little longer to de-ice the plane. Minnesota problems. But the plane was huge! I slept most of the way and the flight attendants were very excited when I told them I was going to this camp.
Everyone thinks I have a weird accent, and they don't believe me when I said we had snow in May or that in the spring 30 degrees is shorts weather...
Training today was pretty light, but it's a start to a long week. It's exciting and nerve racking to be here since it seems like everyone knows each other. But I have met a lot of new people in a short amount of time. The coaches have had good things to say so far, hopefully the nerves will settle down for tomorrow.
Today will be a learning curve for the rest of the week. I'm trying to move on from mistakes quicker and that will definitely need to be a focus to get through this week! It's a long road ahead full of new opportunities and experiences. I can't wait to see what this week brings.
Name: MacKenzie Misel
Position: Center Back
Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Ankeny, Iowa
What about Minnesota made you decide that you wanted to be a Gopher?: After visiting Minneapolis I fell in love with the campus and the city. I wanted to be apart of the Minnesota soccer family because I knew it was something very special and a great place. The Friday night games under the lights are something I always dreamed about and quickly became one of my favorite things and the perfect atmosphere to become the best soccer player I could be.
You've been a part of this team for a while now... What is special/different about this team?: My time here at the program has been special in the fact that I have played for two different head coaches for two years each. Being older and looking at my team now I see a lot of positive energy with competitiveness thats formed us into a team that better understands one another as teammates and friends.
What does Gopher Soccer mean to you?: It means I am proud to be a member of the Gopher program because of all the amazing players that have been here before me. I know what those girls had to do to get our team and program to become an elite program with high standards. Gopher soccer has a legacy of greatness and its a truly special feeling that only the players can feel because we do it for one another.
What does being captain mean to you and how has it changed your responsibility to the team?: It is an honor to be a Captain for the Gophers. It is a role that takes a lot of commitment and loyalty to our program as well as our culture of the team. I have done a lot of reflecting back to when I was a younger player, and trying to share with the freshmen their roles and help them adjust to the next level. It is a big adjustment stepping into the college game and I want all my teammates to feel like family and be successful together.
When did you first start playing soccer?: I started playing soccer when I was six years old. I actually really did not want to go to my first practice ever. I refused to get dressed in my soccer gear. My dad still made me go -- wearing a pink dress. Lets just say, that has never happened again!
What is your favorite soccer memory?: In 2010 when we qualified for the sweet sixteen when we beat Texas A&M in the Minnesota winter!
What is something you've done in the past year that you are the most proud of... on or off the field?: In the classroom would be making the Dean's list and more importantly helping with many different organizations like, HopeKids, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and volunteering in classrooms. Also helping take the lead as a board member in student groups through the athletic department like, Gopher Global and S.A.A.C. (Student Athlete Advisory Committee)
What is your favorite local Minneapolis restaurant and what do you order when you are there?: I have a couple, Tony's Diner/Key's Cafe/Al's Breakfast all for their pancakes - I love pancakes and they all have their own specialties.
How do you prepare/get pumped up for a game?: I always do my nails for the game. Pink is definitely my favorite choice. Other than that I keep it simple. I really do enjoy dancing before the game, however that takes more energy than I would like to use before a game so I like to relax.
If you could spend one day with a professional soccer player, who would it be and why?: Christiano Ronaldo because he has been my favorite player ever since I was younger and is one of the best, if not the best player in the world.
If you could give any advice to the younger players on the team, what would it be?: It is important to stay positive and have the right amount of self confidence that helps you succeed on the field but keeps your striving for more. Also, you are never alone - during these 4 years of college there are so many people that want to help you be the best person you can be. Invest in those people and show them you care.
What is your "walkout" song and why?: My song is "Return of the Mac" My freshman year I used the original by Mark Morrison and than Snoop Dog made a remix - which was more like today's pop music. I like it because it has my name in it.
What do you think your biggest strength on and off the field?: Off the field I try to be a role model to my fellow teammates. How to make smart decisions and have fun. How to prioritize your life but still give back to others. On the field I will do whatever it takes to make the team successful and be a consistent player in each game.
What is your biggest goal for the season?: I would love to see our team get back into the NCAA tournament along with a B1G championship!
How has playing soccer at Minnesota influenced the way you feel about the game?: It has just showed me how much I really love the game. It has influenced me to continue coaching and sharing my love and passion for the game to help younger players succeed.
What is your favorite non-athletic building on campus and why?: I am going to have to say in Dinkytown - Chilly Billy's the frozen yogurt place :)
Who is your biggest role model and why?: My parents have been my biggest role models because the two of them have taught me my morals and values in life and that is what has made me successful while at college.
Get to know freshman Ashley Pafko
Sophomore forward, Allie Reinke, is a dynamic player and a talented graphic design student who is making a difference for the Gophers on and off the field. Here's your chance to get to a know a little about Reinke including her goals for the season, her favorite non-athletic building on campus and her "walk out" song!
Name: Allie Reinke
Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Stillwater, Minn.
What about Minnesota made you decide that you wanted to be a Gopher?:
I grew up watching this team, coming to games with my club team and wishing that one day I could play for them too. I love being so close to the city and all the opportunities it brings as well as a fantastic education.
What is special/different about this specific team?:
We have a very new team this year and I think we meshed very quickly with each other. Team chemistry really makes a team become great, so I am looking forward to what we bring to the table in the Big Ten.
You've helped out off the field as well, how has working on the programs helped you as a player and as a soon-to-be professional?:
It has taught me a lot of the basics of editing in general. I like the challenge of staying within the brand and the behind-the-scenes look of what it takes to be a graphic designer.
When did you first start playing soccer?:
When I was 7.
What is your favorite soccer memory?:
Playing with my club team and all the crazy things we have done together.
What is your favorite local Minneapolis restaurant and what do you order when you are there?:
Wilde Roast in St. Anthony. I like to change it up every time I go.
How do you prepare/get pumped up for a game?:
Go to our team meal at Kafe 421, listen to music and relax in the locker room until the coaches come in.
The first weekend went well for the Gophers. How was it being on the field with the team for the first time?:
It is always so fun playing under the lights with all the fans in the stadium. It is nice to be able to settle in with the team on the field and pull out the win.
If you could give any advice to the younger players on the team, what would it be?:
Confidence is key... don't get frustrated when things may not be going your way, just keep working through it.
What is your "walk out" song and why?:
"Can't Hold Us" by Macklemore, I really like the intro and every time it comes on I just want to get up and dance.
What do you think is your biggest strength on and off the field?:
I think I am a very determined and have a good work ethic. These two things have helped me a lot trying to get to where I want to be.
What are you looking forward to most this season?:
What is your biggest goal for the season?:
How has playing soccer at Minnesota influenced the way you feel about the game?:
What is your favorite non-athletic building on campus and why?:
Who is your biggest role model and why?:
- My orange crocks
- My own bag of sour patch kids
- A CD case full of movies
- Either my panda pillow pet, Peter, or my Dalmatian stuffed dog, Max
- A deck of cards and possibly a cribbage board
- Extra contacts/glasses because I have horrible vision and to be without them, especially during a game would be a tragedy for me.
- My pillow/blanket. I am probably the only current player who cannot read/study on road trips due to motion sickness so I try to sleep the entire time.
- Electronics and their chargers. (iPhone, iPad, iPod, computer)
- Nail polish/remover because I have to have my nails done.
- A good attitude. - Traveling can get stressful especially when you are in a group of 20+ and there is lots of equipment.