Q&A with Senior Caitlin Hannegan

Sept. 28, 2007

BERKELEY - Midfielder Caitlin Hannegan is one of six seniors on the 22nd-ranked California women's soccer team. An honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic selection in 2006, Hannegan has collected two goals and one assist through eight games in 2007. The product of nearby San Rafael, Calif., scored the gamewinner in a 1-0 overtime result against Colorado College on Sept. 2 in Berkeley.

The Bears host Saint Mary's at 4 p.m. today at Edwards Stadium.

CalBears.com: How happy is the team to be returning home to play after six games on the road?
'It is so nice to get to play at home again! It's great to have our home crowd. Playing at home is just so much more fun, and we really try to dominate on our home field. Not to mention it's just hard to travel all the time. It's comforting to finally be back at home.'

CalBears.com: Did the team do anything fun on the recent road trips?
'When we traveled to San Diego two weekends ago, we got to visit Megan's (Jesolva) and Laurie's (Gartrell) houses for team dinners. It was so great to see our teammates' houses, as well as hang out with so much of the Cal soccer family. Tons of friends and family were down in San Diego, as well as AMAZING food! Being on the road so much can be hard, but some home cooked meals really make traveling and different cities feel more like home.'

CalBears.com: Have you been watching the Women's World Cup and have you been watching it live at 2 or 5 a.m.?
'Whenever games are on (during normal hours) I try to watch some of them, but sadly I haven't been able to get myself out of bed at 2 or 5 to watch the games. I really like to sleep. Today at practice Jacque Lui, our native Brazilian, had major bragging rights after Brazil managed to beat us 4-0 in the semifinals.'

CalBears.com: What do you enjoy doing besides soccer?
'Although I don't get to practice as much as I'd like, I really enjoy doing photography. I have my dad's old, old, manual camera, which makes photography really fun. This past summer I took summer school in Paris for five weeks, and I got to take a photography class! I'm not quite Ansel Adams, but I have a lot of fun trying to create interesting pictures, while it also is a great way to remember the trip.'

CalBears.com: What do you hope to do with your legal studies major?
'Although coming into college I thought that law was a route that I wanted to pursue, I've recently realized that law isn't exactly what I plan on doing for the rest of my life.'

CalBears.com: Tell me about training in Mexico for three summers. How did you get hooked up with that and how was the experience?
'When I was 13 and 14, my coach at the time ran soccer camps in Puerto Vallarta, and I was lucky enough to get to go for three times. They were two-week camps where we woke up early and ran on the beach, played with local teams, and got to experience an amazing culture that appreciates soccer so much more than I had known at that point in my life.

'I also got to understand all the advantages I've had in my soccer life. It was rare to play on nice grass fields while I was down there, often we played on plain dirt fields.'

CalBears.com: How rewarding has your time at Cal been?
'I couldn't imagine going to any other college. Cal is so unique, and no one can ever really explain what makes this such a special place. Cal's culture and history makes it a place where anyone can voice their opinion and be listened to, and it is completely acceptable to be different. This allows so many different people to come here and be comfortable.

'Of course, my teammates have added so much to this experience. They are my best friends and the most amazing people. Practice is not only a time where we work hard at soccer, but I get to hang out and laugh with these great people.'

CalBears.com: Was the 2005 knee injury the biggest soccer obstacle you've had in your soccer career?
'Luckily that knee injury was not as severe as many of the others that my teammates have been through, but it was a rough time and probably the biggest injury I've ever had. It's really hard to bounce back from any injury and I am so proud of all my teammates who have had to deal with worse and have come back. My injury was just such a frustrating time.'

CalBears.com: What's it been like to play for first-year head coach Neil McGuire this season?
'Neil has done so much for the team this year; I really like his vision of the game. We have so much tradition and unity on our team, and Neil came and fit in perfectly.'

CalBears.com: It must be rewarding to be a regular starter after your first two seasons here.
'Although starting really isn't everything, it is pretty nice to put in so much hard work and get to start. Especially after my sophomore year knee injury, getting back and starting has really made me appreciate everything a lot more. All in all, I really just want the team to win, and starting is just a bonus as long as we keep playing well.'

CalBears.com: How did you get your start playing soccer and what other sports did you play growing up?
'Soccer has always been my main sport. I started playing when I was 4 or 5 and just fell in love with it. As a kid I always loved sports and, although I played a little basketball in middle school, nothing was quite as much fun as soccer.'

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