Spotlight: UCLA Freshman F Sydney Leroux
May 7, 2009
Freshman forward Sydney Leroux is recovering from a fall semester of double-duty with the Bruins and with the US Under-20 Women's National Team. Last December she won the Golden Ball as the U-20 Women's World Cup's Best Player and the Golden Shoe as the tournament's top scorer. Leroux sat down with uclabruins.com contributor Christelle Nahas to discuss her decision to leave Canada, her tattoo collection, and the childhood dream she's still pursuing.
How was your spring break?
It was good, I went to Cancun with my mom. She lives in Vancouver so I hadn't seen her forever.
You're originally from Vancouver. What brought you to UCLA?
I always wanted to go to school in the States. I wanted a school I felt like I could help and that I could contribute to. One that hadn't won a national championship yet, but was capable of it. I love that. I would never want to go to a school like North Carolina because it's already been done. I want to start something here - be a part of something.
What's your nickname on the field?
'Sid,' usually. Two of my friends, Wilmy (Lauren Wilmoth) and (Kristina) Larsen call me 'Dingle,' after how my hair used to be. My last name rhymes with my number, so that's kind of a little joke. But yeah, 'Sid,' pretty much.
Do you have a major yet?
I'm majoring in Psychology. It's tough.
What's one of the toughest parts about being a student-athlete?
It's the catching up. I missed about three months of school for the World Cup, so always having to catch up is the hardest part for me.
You had an incredible performance at the U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile last December. You scored the winning goal in the final. This was the day after the Bruins were knocked out of the College Cup by North Carolina. Did you wish you could be in two places at once?
I did. It was really hard, being a freshman and having to leave. I was sad that we lost, but I kind of had to let it go and win for my team and for the U.S. But (UCLA) were so close. We've been so close for what, six years now? So I think it's just around the corner. And I've got three more years. (laughs)
You've represented both Canada and the USA at the Youth National Team level. At some point you have to decide...
Oh, I've already decided. I'm staying here, with the U.S. National Team. You can only make the switch once, and I've already done it.
Visit www.uclabruins.com to view the rest of the interview...