by A.J. von Massenhausen '14
After redshirting as a freshman, Molly Mettler (MM) has gotten multiple chances to fill in at goal this year as a sophomore. None was bigger than when Mettler stepped in for the injured All-American Bianca Henninger in the waning minutes against Cal on September 25th. After closing the 3-0 shutout victory against Cal, Mettler went on to post two shutouts of her own against Nevada and San Diego State, respectively. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) was able to speak with Molly about her recent contribution and the team's momentum as they continue conference play.
(SCB): With an impressive athletic background in basketball, track and lacrosse, how did you decide to focus and dedicate yourself to the sport of soccer? How has your experience in other sports helped you gain confidence as a goalie?
(MM): Growing up I wanted to be just like my brothers, so no matter how many other sports I played, nothing compared to how I felt when I was playing soccer. The other sports helped by teaching me how to read the game and also taught me how to be tenacious and determined, which have built my confidence in goal.
(SCB): You stepped in flawlessly in goal when the team needed you most. What was going through your head as you subbed in for Bianca after her injury?
(MM): I had a mixture of emotions but I also felt relaxed because I knew my coaches had prepared me well for the situation. I knew that my teammates were right there to support and work hard for me. I also wanted to make sure to maintain the shutout that Bianca had worked so hard to earn, so I felt determined to keep the ball out of the net.
(SCB): How does it feel to be able to contribute to the team so effectively? Can you speak to Bianca's leadership and influence on you as an improved goalie?
(MM): It feels great that I am able to make a positive impact on my team. Bianca has influenced me a lot over my past two seasons here, and just being able to watch her as an example has made me into a better goalkeeper. She really has helped show me how to be a better leader by setting a positive example and inspiring our team on a daily basis.
(SCB): The team is hitting its stride at just the right time. Having not lost in nine games, you girls are heading into the crucial part of conference play. What has been the key to recent success? What needs to happen in order for the team to keep momentum?
(MM): I think that one of the keys has been that we, as a team, are all on the same page. We have a goal in mind for the season and we step out on the field each day to improve as a whole. Our team just needs to remember to embrace every opportunity that is placed before us and really live up to our potential.
(SCB): With the team's only loss coming to #1 Stanford, how confident are you girls that you can run the table and do some major damage in the NCAA tournament?
(MM): Everyone on the team just has such a good feeling about where we're going, but with that in mind, we don't want to take for granted how far we have come. We know to respect our opponent and prepare for each game in the same way, and we're hoping that that will be able to take us all the way.