As the Pepperdine women's soccer
team heads to the second round for the NCAA Tournament this weekend (the Waves
face North Carolina State at Stanford on Friday), junior defender Jamie Van
Horn reflects on last weekend's win over California via penalty kicks, as well
as the season overall so far and her time on the team in general:
Q: How did it feel getting the win at this past weekend's first-round NCAA Tournament game?
A: It was a really awesome experience! Getting a win in the tournament has such a different feel than in conference. We have been working so hard as a team and we realize how blessed we are to have this opportunity so getting the result was icing on the cake.
Q: What was going through your head during the game?
A: I had to keep reminding myself to treat it like any other game. The second you overthink a game like that there is really no going back. I just tried my best to connect my passes and stay positive internally.
Q: What was the atmosphere like for the team after getting the win?
A: It's always a rush of emotions after a win in PK's. Everyone was so excited it was tough to even process what happened right away. We all just kept hugging and smiling. You could really feel the love throughout the team.
Q: How are you feeling about the next game coming up on Friday?
A: I can't wait for the game this weekend! I think I speak for everyone when I say we are thrilled we still have another week of training and another game guaranteed to us. There are so many teams whose seasons are over and as a group we are making sure not to take any of these moments for granted.
Q: What do you think has made the team so successful on defense this season?
A: I think our spring season really helped shaped us into more mentally and physically tough players. We have done a great job as a defense carrying that over into regular-season play. There is a strong unity among the back line and I think it gives us all a lot of confidence.
Q: What do you think makes women's soccer here a good program in general?
A: At Pepperdine we are so lucky to have a staff that does a great job recruiting girls that aren't just amazing soccer players but amazing people as well. It doesn't feel like work when you're going out there playing your favorite sport with your favorite people.
Q: What led you to come to Pepperdine in general and also to play for the Pepperdine soccer team?
A: My choice to come to Pepperdine was a God thing for sure. The moment I stepped foot on this campus for a soccer camp my freshman year of high school I knew this was where I was supposed to be. I really put all my eggs in one basket and just prayed that Tim wanted me here as badly as I wanted to be here.
Q: What do you enjoy about playing for these particular coaches?
A: A team is only successful if every single player is all in. This coaching staff has done an absolutely incredible job motivating everyone to be all in and that has been the difference maker for us this season. I love that these coaches care enough about us to help make us not just the best soccer players we can be, but also the best human beings we can be.
Q: How has the team dynamic been this year?
A: The team is so close this year. Everyone is really playing for the girl next to them and it's a beautiful thing to watch.