Athlete Spotlight: Lauren Wilmoth

Oct. 17, 2008

For your opponents, this has been their lowest-scoring season against UCLA. What's different about the back line this year?
Every year since I've been here we've always had an amazing defense. For two years in a row now we've been lucky enough to have senior goalkeepers who have instrumental in making sure we have low scoring seasons. From Valerie Henderson to now Ashley Thompson, we are blessed back there to have some strong voices to direct and lead us. Ashley is having an amazing year so far, and knowing that we have a goalie like her behind our line helps us take a deep breath and focus more on what we need to do. So it has going pretty well so far.

You're from Texas. What factored in your decision to ultimately come out west to UCLA?
Besides the beaches and UCLA's amazing campus, it was a combination of coach Jillian Ellis and the girls on the team. I knew Jill from previous national team camps and I loved her coaching style. Her personality on and off the field is exactly why I love to play for her. She's fun and hates to lose and I like that in a coach. Then there were the girls. They all were super nice and they seemed to all love each other and that was key for me, especially since I was scared to move so far away. I was looking for a team that could be my second family and I knew that they could give me that.

Although you play defense, you love to make runs up the flank and get involved in the attack. Were you ever an offensive player growing up?
Actually I was a forward all the way up to my sophomore year of high school. I loved to attack and score goals, but then randomly I was at a regional team camp and they tried me out in the right back position and it has been my position ever since. Jill became my national team coach later that same year so that's the only position she's seen me play.

When thinking of past/current coaches, teammates and role models, who has helped shape your game the most?
I relied a lot on my coaches and parents to help guide me and turn me into the player that I am today. My parents taught me about attitude and the love of the game. They never wanted me to do anything that I wasn't passionate about so they made sure if I was going to commit to playing soccer, that I make a full commitment and always play with my heart. Then there were my different coaches. I'd say my most important ones have been my select team coaches and Jill. They all taught me how to take my game to the next level and never settled for anything else. If they saw anything less than I was capable of, then I would either run or get yelled at until there was a change...they are pretty tough coaches.

What's the toughest part about being a student-athlete?
I'd have to say time management. We have practice in the morning and then class all day. In the evenings we have tutoring so it can all get pretty overwhelming at times. Being able to find time to do homework, write papers, and have the energy to stay up late to do all this is a big challenge. I'm still working on it!

Do you have any pre-game rituals?
That's really funny you should ask because I actually get made fun of for how obsessive compulsive I am about my pre-game rituals. It all starts in the morning when I have my pre-game breakfast (oatmeal and a bagel with egg whites). Then I go back to bed or read until we go to the locker room to dress. I always listen to Rihanna, Lil' Wayne and Ludacris on my way up to the locker room. When I start to dress, I listen to 'Out Here Grindin'.' I also have to put everything on starting with my right side - socks, shoes, shin guards, etc. Then I do my hair the same way - even the same hair band and clips - until I have a bad day and then I switch it up. LOL....don't judge

What's the funniest moment on the field for the Bruins?
For me, it's right before we get on the field and we are standing in our line to get called out for the starting lineup. It's so funny to see how everyone acts before they get called out. And the way we joke around and play with each other is the best.

Fill in the following sentence: If I'm making a victory mix CD for my team, it would not be complete without...
Beyonce ' Get Me Bodied'

What's your favorite city to travel to for an away game?
Either Charlotte, NC or Houston, TX

Do you follow any other UCLA sports?
Football. I grew up in Texas so it's nothing but football there!

Your bio says that you admire Cat Whitehill, who was just drafted to the Washington Freedom of the new Women's Professional Soccer league. Any interest in playing in the WPS when you graduate?
I'm definitely open to the idea. If I am asked I'm all there.

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