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Friday, August 26, 2016
Name: Jessica Austell
Junior Jessica Austell is entering her third year as a member of the Wesleyan College soccer team and has been named a captain heading into the 2016 campaign. As a captain, her main focus off the field will be developing and maintaining relationships with recruits that visit campus.
Coach Hightower has been very impressed with Austell's development as both a player and a leader since coming to Wesleyan, stating, "While Jessica will remain a key component in our defensive back line, we will look to add her into the offensive mix more this season. She has shown us her ability to make runs, and she has developed a shot that is difficult for most goalkeepers to handle. She has proven herself to be a great leader, hence the nod as one of this year's captains, but her leadership extends beyond the field. She's an excellent student as well, and we expect big things from her this season."
1) Why did you choose to attend Wesleyan College?
In all honesty, I wasn't active in pursuing colleges during my senior year of high school. So when Coach Hightower approached me and my best friend, Katie Tanner, about playing soccer for Wesleyan, I figured, "Why not?" But now that I'm here, I know I wouldn't have chosen any other school. The small student body and close proximity to my home are really great qualities, and the care of the professors truly make this college unique.
2) You have been chosen to be a captain for the soccer team this season. How do you embrace that role on the field as Wesleyan transitions to a new conference?
I'm so excited to be given this opportunity of being one of the captains for my team. Moving into a new and more difficult conference, I plan to embrace this role by doing what I've always strived to do: support my teammates in any way they need. Stress and tension seem to rise in new situations, so transitioning to a new conference could cause additional mental and physical stress. I hope to help my team stick together, promote support for one another, and work hard to pull out some wins!
3) What expectations do you have for yourself and for the soccer team as a whole this year in light of moving to USA South?
Moving to this new conference, I have pretty high expectations. Although it may be more strenuous, I've watched our team grow to be more cohesive and stronger than it has ever been. With the invaluable addition of our first year recruits (shout out to Fitts, Carlee, Whitney, Q, and Megan!), I truly believe that this season may be our best yet. Every girl on this team is so talented in different ways and I expect everyone, including myself, to hone those skills to best take on these new challenges this season.
4) Who has been one of your favorite professors while at Wesleyan and why?
I feel like this is a trick question, since I haven't had a professor who I truly disliked! But if I had to choose, Dr. Strausberg would have to be one of my favorites. Other than her immense amount of knowledge concerning everything Chemistry related and her amazing organizational skills which make semesters run smoothly, she has a way of being personable with her students. I'll never forget last spring when she baked everyone cupcakes in celebration of opening day.
5) What do you like to do when you aren't playing soccer or studying?
Believe it or not, I'm quite the introvert. So when I'm not being responsible, I love binge watching Netflix and being with my loved ones. I don't think there's anything more relaxing than an entertaining show, hot popcorn, and good company.
6) What are your plans for the future?
As of right now, I've declared as a Chemistry major on the pre-pharmacy track. I hope to finish my degree here at Wesleyan and then go on to finish my pharmacy degree, but I haven't yet decided on a graduate school. Outside of a career, I look forward to being a wife and mom. God has directed my steps this far by opening and closing doors, so I can't wait to see what else He has in store for me. His plans are perfect and I know He will work everything out to my good as Romans 8:28 reminds me. I know that the experiences Wesleyan has provided for me are only the beginning.