Athletes of the Week

Alyssa Onan

(Photo by Paul Wilke)

Mallory Koula: Soccer

1) You broke several records last weekend. First, you are now LU’s leading scorer! And you broke a couple NCAA records as well, one of them previously held by Abby Wambach. How did that feel?

It definitely surprised me. I never thought I’d see my name in an article with Abby Wambach’s. On being the leading scorer, I have to say that I’ve been really lucky to play with some really great players who have helped me accomplish that goal.

2) What are the team’s goals for the rest of the year? How do you plan to accomplish them?

To make it to the conference tournament. We have to win the rest of our conference games for this to happen. We will just take it one game at a time and play our hearts out.

3) What have been your favorite memories as an LU soccer player?

The people! I’ve made some friendships that I know will last my whole lifetime. We have had some great times together and there’s more to come.

4) The team adopted Hannah through the Friends of Jaclyn program. What have been your favorite parts about having her as a member of the team?

She’s seriously the sweetest girl ever, and has a huge heart. I know the team always has a blast whenever we hang out with her! Also, she’s really good at leading the cheers and coin toss.

5) What are your post-graduation plans, soccer-wise and otherwise?

Soccer-wise, I don’t really have any. I will hopefully continue to play — maybe take up martial arts or something to stay in shape. I’m also planning on taking a year off to work and maybe do some traveling while applying to medical school.

Sam Stevens: Cross Country

1) What is your favorite course to run? Why?

My favorite course is St. Norbert’s course at Colburn Park in Green Bay. I have been racing at that park since high school and it is great to see some of my friends from back in Green Bay at the meet there at the end of the summer.

2) What’s the hardest part about getting through a cross-country race? How do you push yourself?

The hardest part to racing is staying focused the whole time. In a five-mile race, you can’t afford to mentally check out even for a moment, because you can lose precious seconds to other teams. I like to go into each race with a plan and just focus on executing that plan.

3) With the MWC championships coming up, how are you and the team preparing? What are the team’s goals for the meet?

We are really excited about the MWC meet coming up soon. It is undoubtedly the most important race for us all year and we are going into it with the expectation of being conference champions. Grinnell has won the last 14 straight championships but we have raced them tough twice this year already and came out on top once so it will be close. Personally, I will be doing everything I can to help us win the team title and that will mean working to improve on my third place individual finish from last year.

4) How do you prepare for a big race?

I try to prepare the same way for every race, using smaller ones as a setting to refine my preparation. I always try to have a plan visualized beforehand, and that way I can just relax leading up to the race and only focus on executing the plan.

5) How do you prepare over the summer for the cross country season?

Our summer program is basically just running a lot, without any major workouts. I was lucky to be living in Albuquerque, N.M. this summer and was able to run up to 85 miles/week out there. The altitude difference was a big adjustment but I think it has helped with my racing this year.

(Photo by Paul Wilke)