Q&A With Stacey Mescher

Sept. 9, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - -

After quickly making the adjustment to NCAA Division I competition as a true freshman in 2002 by scoring four goals and dishing out three assists, forward Stacey Mescher has proven herself a threat from the right wing. She already has two assists in four games this year, and in OSU's four matches in Costa Rica in August, Mescher led the team with three assists and added two scores as well. She's played in every game on the schedule - 24 for her career - and started all but one. More than the statistics, the Mission Viejo, Calif., native has created scoring chances for players simply because she is a threat out wide. The following is a recent interview with Mescher:

WHAT WAS IT THAT YOU DID IN THE OFFSEASON THAT LET YOU PICK UP WHERE YOU LEFT OFF, IF NOT ELEVATE YOUR GAME FROM LAST YEAR?

'Basically, I worked out with the team, lifted and played with the team.'

WHEN YOU'RE ON THE FIELD, IT LOOKS LIKE YOU PLAY WITH THE MINDSET THAT, 'I OWN THIS OPPONENT.' WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET GOING INTO A GAME?

'I just want to make good plays and do the best I can do. I want to beat the player and get around them or pass to a player who's open. I just do my best to be successful and hold the ball for my team.'

YOU HAVE A TREMENDOUS ABILITY TO SET UP TEAMMATES WITH CROSSES, AS WELL AS A GREAT ABILITY TO FINISH. ASIDE FROM THOSE, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE STRENGHTS TO YOUR GAME?

'I think my speed and beating players one-on-one is a strength, as well as getting on the end of balls when they cross it. Crossing is my specialty, so I like to go down the line and look for open players and cross the ball.'

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE YEAR AS FAR AS YOUR ROLE ON THE TEAM?

'Finishing. I need to work on shooting; I need to turn and shoot the ball. Usually, I pass the ball and am very unselfish, but I need to start taking more shots.'

FROM YOUR POINT OF VIEW ON THE FIELD, HOW IS THIS TEAM DIFFERENT FROM LAST YEAR'S TEAM?

'I'd have to say we're more fit and physical. We can connect really well with each other - I feel like the chemistry is there. I know it's a young team, but we connect really well and understand each other and what we're going to do and where we're going to go.'

WHAT'S BEEN YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT PLAYING SOCCER FOR OSU?

'I love the environment, I love the coaches, I love the players and I get along with everyone. I like everything - the whole experience.'

DO YOU HAVE A MAJOR?

'I'm still deciding on that. It's still a ways off, but maybe Exercise and Sport Science or Apparel Design.'

ANY GOOD STORIES OR MEMORIES FROM COSTA RICA?

'It was very tropical and rained a lot. I liked the hotsprings and the jungle. We went on a jungle tour and saw a lot of different animals and swam in the river. We saw aligators on a rafting trip, and once we passed them, our guide said we could jump in the river. It was a little scary, but it was fun, just floating down the river.'

OSU COACH Steve Fennah's COMMENTS ON MESCHER

'She's creating so many opportunities for other people. I know that because we've talked to some of the coaches; part of that comes from last year's reports that say 'stop Stacey Mescher and you've got a good chance of stopping Oregon State,' so we've seen that in the early games. They haven't been successful - she obviously got the assists anyway.

'What she's doing is freeing up Janelle Joy, it's freeing up Tessa Baker, and it's freeing up Brianna Monka to come through from the midfield. Now, as the season goes on, that's going to have to start balancing itself out again, because teams are going to think we're one-dimensional.

'The cool thing is that she's still been able to get assists anyway. I think this year she's going to find herself getting a lot more assists than goals and that is going to be the role from the wide slot a little more.

'Right now, she's the reason Monka has been able to come flying up through the middle and others have had space. Everybody is loading up on the left (Mescher's) side of the field.

'A recent scouting report said, 'Don't let Mescher get free out wide on the right, she'll kill you putting crosses on people's heads all day long.' That's definitely the case.

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