As a Big Ten student-athlete, what were some of the life lessons you learned throughout your collegiate career?
"As a student-athlete, you learn to never give up, to pursue your dreams, to follow your goals and to work extremely hard."
Talk about the demands of balancing schoolwork with being a Big Ten student-athlete...
"It's all about balance. You have to learn how to do your work when your team is on the road, which means you have to manage your time well. You have to get stuff done when you can and make ample opportunities from the limited time that you have in between your classes and your practices."
How did competing in the Big Ten help you gain success in the classroom?
"I think when you compete in the Big Ten, you're more determined, more in touch with your goals and know how to focus on the details. That's what I learned from playing soccer at Penn State and in the Big Ten. Focusing on the details helped me buckle down and stay focused on my work in the classroom."
Looking back on your collegiate career, what are some of the things you are most proud of?
"I'm most proud of the things my team accomplished, the games we won, the times we had, but just being a college graduate is something you look back on. At the time, you don't think it is a big deal, but looking back now, I can see just how much college meant to my life."
What advice would you give to aspiring female student-athletes?
"I would tell aspiring student-athletes to work hard and follow their dreams, but to definitely have fun and do everything that they want to achieve."
What does it mean for you to represent Penn State in the Big Ten's 25th Anniversary of Women's Championships?
"It is a real honor to represent Penn State. There are thousands of Big Ten athletes who have come through this university, and I am really honored to represent my school and all of the student-athletes who are a part of it."
What was your experience like when you returned to Penn State as a volunteer coach?
"Getting back to Penn State and being able to volunteer was awesome. I was able to be a part of an ongoing tradition that continues to grow and develop into one of the country's elite programs."
During that time, you were able to work with Tiffany Weimer when she prepared to break your Big Ten scoring record. How did you encourage her?
"Seeing Tiffany break my Big Ten scoring records was awesome. When I was playing at Penn State, I had Rachel Hoffman there, who held the records before me. She said one thing to me that always stood out: `Records are meant to be broken.' That's the exact same thing that I told Tiffany when she was trying to break my records. I was so proud of her."
Who was your biggest mentor during your collegiate career?
"Playing at Penn State, I really looked up to my coaches and wanted to do well for them and for the program. My coach, Pat Farmer, inspired me to be successful and to follow my dreams of being one of the first Penn State athletes on the U.S. Women's National team. He really helped me with my drive and determination to pursue that."
How did being Big Ten Freshman of the Year help you in your transition as a rookie on the U.S. National Team?
"Being a freshman in college is one of the best experiences. As a freshman student-athlete, you go out there and you have nothing and yet everything to prove at the same time. For the most part, people pay attention to the older players, the veterans, the ones who have been around. But I think going into my freshman year at Penn State, I just wanted to go out there and have fun and play. Being a newcomer to the U.S. National team was similar because you went out there and really had nothing to lose. You're basically playing for yourself and proving that you should be out there."
What does it mean to you to be the first soccer player - male or female - to win Big Ten Athlete of the Year honors?
"At the time when I won the award, I wasn't even aware it was awarded to the best overall athlete. When I found that out, I was really honored because there are so many tremendous athletes in every sport in the Big Ten Conference. It was just an unbelievable feeling to be picked as the top women's athlete that year."
What are your hopes for the next 25 years in Big Ten Women's Athletics?
"I hope that the Big Ten continues to be the dominating conference it currently is and continues to develop amazing people and athletes. I think the future holds nothing but great things for the Big Ten."