In an eight-part series this summer, Gophersports.com will correspond with each of the eight Gopher soccer seniors to catch up and chat about everything from their favorite munchies to their most poignant Minnesota soccer memories. The 2008 seniors are the first group to play their entire careers under head coach Mikki Denney Wright.
This year’s senior class, which includes six players from Minnesota and two more from the state of Iowa, are a prime example of the focus that Denney Wright and her coaching staff have put on keeping the best home-grown Midwestern and Minnesotan talent at the U’ and sporting Maroon and Gold.
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Lindsey Schwartz (Bettendorf, Iowa) has already etched her name in the Minnesota Soccer record books, and Gopher soccer fans will watch her progress this fall as she continues her ascension up the all-time ranks in several offensive categories. She already ranks among the Gophers’ all-time career leaders in points (8th, 53), goals (8th, 20), assists (10th, 13) and shots (6th, 182).
Having led the Gophers in goals scored in each of her first three seasons, Schwartz has developed a reputation as one of the most consistent and dangerous scorers in the Big Ten. Her 22 points in 2007 were the most for any Gopher in any season since 2002. Schwartz is the central figure among a senior class of veterans who are among the most experienced in the country. Many of Schwartz’ fellow seniors have contributed significantly since the first moment they have stepped on the pitch for Minnesota Soccer. Schwartz is no different, having started each game for the Gophers for the past three seasons.
“Lindsey has been one of the most consistent players in the history of Minnesota
Soccer. She has been a great example for our team as the leader of our attack
the past three years,” head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. “Her effort on the field has been tremendous. She gives as much in the final minute as she does in the first minute. We are so proud that this young woman has been a part of Minnesota Soccer.”
Known as a versatile offensive player, Schwartz projects as a significant threat as either a forward or midfielder in 2008.
* * *GopherSports.com: What are you up to this summer?Lindsey Schwartz:
This summer I have taken two summer classes: weight lifting and organic chemistry. I was also coaching a U-11 girls soccer team for the Eden Prairie club. Along with that, I was playing for the Minnesota Lightning with [Gopher teammates] Julie Rezac, Krystle Kallman, Kylie Kallman, and Jenny Clark.GS: Are you starting to feel reflective about your collegiate soccer career or are you just looking forward to the season?LS:
As of right now I am just looking forward to the upcoming season, but I know that when the season gets closer to being over it will really start to soak in.GS: Do you have a favorite Premier League team? LS:
GS: Do you have any guilty pleasures?LS:
I love junk food and fried chicken. GS: Do you have a favorite on-campus restaurant?LS:
GS: Have you seen a movie recently that you would recommend?LS:
Green Street Houligans
GS: This group of the seniors is Mikki’s first full recruiting class - you all are the first to play their full collegiate careers under Mikki at Minnesota. What has playing with your senior class for Mikki over the last four years meant to you?LS:
This has honestly been an unbelievable experience having been able to play with such an outstanding group of girls and a great coaching staff. We have all grown so close over these years because of our experiences on and off the field. It is such a great feeling to be going through my last season with these girls and it feels so strange that we are almost done playing together. The experience with these girls is something that I will never forget.GS: Your senior class features six girls from Minnesota and two more from Iowa. What do you think is the coolest thing about playing on a team that is so homegrown?
The nice thing about playing on a team that is so homegrown is that everyone has been able to be a part of each other’s families. For us Iowa girls, since we are not able to get home as much as we would like, our Minnesota girls take care of us and bring us to their houses for some home-cooked meals! Also, it brings in a lot of our families and friends to watch the games and it’s always fun to play in front of people that you know and love.GS: Your first game is just a few weeks away. What are you looking forward to most for this 2008 soccer season?LS:
I am just looking forward to enjoying my senior year with all of these girls and taking things one step at a time. My one goal is to qualify for the NCAA Tournament this year and to make a great appearance.