April 24, 2003
By Josh Griffin
Sports Editor, The Santa Clara
Devvyn Hawkins left Santa Clara during the winter quarter of her academic senior year to begin training with the Boston Breakers of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA). She was the third overall pick in the WUSA Draft in February, which also saw fellow senior Aly Wagner drafted with the first pick.
Hawkins was a four year starter at Santa Clara, participating in three College Cups and winning one national championship in 2001. She completed her Santa Clara career by earning numerous All-America recognitions and totaling 21 goals and 20 assists as a defensive center midfielder. She also figures prominently in the future plans of the United States national team, after scoring the game-winning goal against Germany in the 2003 Four Nations Cup, which clinched the tournament victory for the United States. Hawkins has earned nine caps in her international career. Devvyn took a few minutes out of her time to check in from Boston with Sports Editor Josh Griffin to give an update of her first several weeks in the WUSA.
JG: First off, how are things going in general - new city, new team?
DH: It was really difficult for me for the first month. Being in a new city [Boston], so far away from people I feel comfortable with (my fam and friends), was hard to adjust to. Not to mention that the weather was so bad - snowing and about five degrees. The only way I appreciate the snow is when I am on the mountain snowboarding. So that is something that I have had to get used to. The team has been great. Everyone is really friendly. I have become really good friends with another draft pick, Marcia Wallis, who played for Stanford. Let's just say, if it wasn't for her, I don't know how I could have handled the transition. Now that the season has started, things have gotten a lot better. We have been able to get out and explore the city a lot more. And all I can say is I like what I see.
JG: Have you missed Santa Clara and winding down college like the rest of the seniors?
DH: Yes, it has been especially hard when my roomies keep calling me and telling me that they are taking easier classes, hanging out, partying and enjoying the 80 degree weather there. However, I am playing soccer for a living, what's to hate about that? And, I will be back next year, hopefully enjoying what they are doing.
JG: How have you adjusted from a college star and leader on and off the field to playing with many experienced, talented players?
DH: The two things that I have had to adjust to are the pace of the game and how much of our day is devoted to playing soccer. Other than that, I think playing for [Head Coach] Jerry [Smith] and Santa Clara really prepared me for playing at the professional level.
JG: How has your role changed from college to the pros? Do you still play the defensive midfield, or have you switched positions/responsibilities?
DH: At the beginning of our season we were playing a 4-4-2 [four defensive players, four midfielders and two forwards]. In this lineup we only had two center midfielders. So I had to take on an attacking role as well. I really enjoyed that because it enabled me to contribute to the attack. Right now however, in these past few games, we have been playing a different formation where I have been playing the defensive center midfielder.
JG: Has it helped to have another Santa Clara alumna on the Breakers?
DH: Yes, Heather [Aldama] helped me tremendously throughout our preseason. It helped a lot to see a familar face.
JG: How well did four years at Santa Clara prepare you for the professional level?
DH: Just as I said, I was well prepared for the pro level by Jerry and playing with my amazing teammates at Santa Clara.
JG: Are you still in the pool of players for the Women's World Cup this summer?
DH: Yes, I think so. April [head U.S. women's soccer coach Heinrichs] and I have been in constant communication. She wants to see how well I adjust to the pro level and the decision of whether I make the team or not depends on my performance during the season. So lots of pressure!
JG: How does the talent of Boston stack up with the rest of the WUSA?
DH: I totally believe we have the best team out there. Our roster is stacked with unbelievable talent and we have a new coach who knows her stuff. I think we have been challenged early on only because we lack some key components to our game, such as communication and leadership.
JG: Any parting shots?
DH: Just that I especially miss my roomies and friends at Santa Clara. But Boston is treating me pretty well.