Q and A with Women's Soccer Seniors

Q and A with Women's Soccer Seniors

By Taylor Cohen
Sports Information Intern

The Washington University in St. Louis women's soccer team honored its 10 seniors prior to Sunday's contest against No. 10-ranked Carnegie Mellon University – Mariana Alisio, Elise Brown, Alison Cerny, Kat Kerska, Mia Mastroianni, Rachel Mickelson, Gillian Myers, Megan Renken, Kelly Von Zup and Megan Wolf.

The fourth winningest class in school history, this group has helped lead the Bears to a 64-10-7 (.833) overall record in four seasons on the Danforth Campus. During this time the Bears won the 2015 and 2016 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, made two Final Four appearances and captured the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship.

The "Tengerines" reflected on the past four years with Sports Information Intern Taylor Cohen.

MARIANA ALISIO
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? I have learned so many things from being a part of the women's soccer program here at WashU. To name a few: I should always embody RIC (respect. integrity. class), my priorities are always school, soccer, social life, and it's going to be a great day as long as you get to stand on your own two feet in the morning. 

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU?  Hands down winning the national championship then dancing on the W once we got home. 

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I am taking a gap year before med school. I am still trying to figure out exactly what I'll be doing during that time, but I know I for sure want to be living in Chicago with Ali so I hope to find a job there. If you're reading this and want to hire a pre-med psych student during her gap year, please let me know!

ELISE BROWN
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? Resilience in the face of adversity and the value of paying attention to detail. 

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU?  Winning the national championship last year!

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? Completing my Masters of Social Work at the Brown School here in St. Louis.

ALISON CERNY
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? In my four years as a Bear, I have learned so much from the numerous coaches, administrators, and teammates I have encountered. All of my teammates have pushed me to be the best soccer player, sister, daughter, teammate, and friend I can possibly be through relentless passion and commitment to each other. I am confident walking away from my experience as a member of the WashU Women's Soccer Program that I will be well-prepared for any role I may take on in my future. 

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU? Obviously the 2016 National Championship is something that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. It was absolutely incredible to achieve a goal we had all dreamt of since we started playing at 5 or 6 years old...BUT a close second was racing Randi through the Atlanta airport on our way home from Texas after we won in the elite 8. 

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I am SO excited to be working for Crowe Horwath on their healthcare consulting team in Chicago.

KAT KERSKA
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? Coach has taught me countless lessons both on and off the field but what sticks out the most is the importance of passion and surrounding yourself with good people. Being a part of this program has allowed me to be surrounded by the most inspiring and empowering women I have ever met. Every single day has been an opportunity to not only grow as a soccer player but grow as a person as well.  

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU? While I have so many incredible memories from the past few years nothing can top winning the national championship last year. That entire weekend was so special and will be something I cherish forever. 

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I will be taking a gap year while applying to either graduate school or medical school. 

MIA MASTROIANNI
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon?  School. Soccer. Social Life. In addition to the holy trinity, I've learned that it takes passion, commitment, and teamwork to succeed both on and off the field. It's also important to take responsibility for your actions and know what it means to make sacrifices for the good of the whole. Every team that I have played with at WashU has impacted me significantly and shaped me into a stronger woman.

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU? Without a doubt, the national championship. It was such an incredible experience full of hard fought wins, PK shootouts, and spontaneous dancing that I will never forget. In addition, it meant so much knowing how much love and support we had from our families, friends, and the athletic community.  The times we traveled to Cleveland to play Case Western also stand out for me.  Not only did I get to go home, but my family had the opportunity to host the team which was always really fun.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I haven't finalized my post-graduation plans yet, but if you're reading this and want to hire a marketing major, let me know!

RACHEL MICKELSON
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? It takes a whole team to succeed. Everyone has unique and specials gifts to give, and when each person is using his or her own gifts to help the group progress towards a common goal, great things can happen.

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU?  Going from National Runner Up to National Champion in consecutive seasons. 

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? Business Analyst for McKinsey & Company in Minneapolis

GILLIAN MYERS
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? learned how to be more of a morning person in order to wake up for morning lifts and practices!

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU? Getting to share the experience of scoring my PK in the national championship game with my teammates by my side.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? Attend WashU's graduate school and get her masters of science in mechanical engineering, then get a job in medical device industry.

MEGAN RENKEN
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? You have to be a little crazy to be great.

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU? Aside from winning the National Title my junior year, my favorite soccer memory is scoring against Wartburg at home in the Round of 16 of the NCAA tournament sophomore year to advance to the Elite 8.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I have plans to work at Deloitte this summer in their Audit Division in Los Angeles, and then I plan to go back to school to earn my Masters of Accounting degree next fall.

KELLY VON ZUP
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? I have learned a lot from Coach and this program. I have learned what it means to truly be passionate about something; that creating a positive culture is always the first step towards success; and that little details matter because they form larger habits.

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU?  The obvious answer is the National Championship, but there are so many smaller memories along the way that have made my four years special. My favorites are probably all of the falls that we've had, from Megan Wolf tripping during our jogging warmup to Rachel Mickelson taking herself out with no one close while dribbling to goal. Anytime little things like that happen it allows us all to laugh and reminds us that it's still just a game.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I'm still trying to finalize my plans, but I am hoping to enter the workforce with a job in consulting.

MEGAN WOLF
What have you learned from playing under head coach Jim Conlon? I have learned a lot from my four years of being a Bear, but the one thing that sticks out to me the most is the importance of having a strong set of values and sticking to them, even when things get difficult. Coach has created a program that builds strong-minded and independent women, and being surrounded by them every day has made me a better person.

What is your favorite soccer memory at WashU?  There are honestly so many it's difficult to pick just one, so I am going to give three! Freshman year when I was told I made the team is definitely a great memory. The tournament run my sophomore year was awesome, the amount of support we received from the athletic community and our alumni was unbelievable and really solidified my love for the school. And finally, the entire National Championship experience last year was unbelievable - from the game to traveling back to school to the events and everything in between it was truthfully surreal.

What are your future plans upon graduation from WashU? I will be working at MasterCard as an Associate Analyst for the Enterprise Data Solutions Team in New York!