Meet Courtney Wetzel
Feb. 15, 2010
Junior Courtney Wetzel was named team MVP for the 2009 season after helping lead the Beavers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Wetzel appeared in every game for the second straight season and anchored a defense that had 7 shutouts and gave up less than one goal per game on average. When she's not on the field, she's double majoring in finance and accounting or playing IM basketball with her soccer teammates.
When did you start playing soccer? Did you ever play anything else?
"I started playing when I was three or four with the little nerf ball, indoor soccer. I played everything all the way through high school. I picked soccer because I was probably the best at that and I enjoyed it the most. Basketball is probably my second favorite sport and I played that in high school."
What do you like most about soccer?
"I like how competitive soccer is. Girl's sports are not usually supposed to be aggressive, but in soccer it's a lot like the men's game. You can be just as competitive and aggressive and that's why I like it."
When you were younger, did you ever think you'd be accomplishing the things you are now?
"I guess it's always a dream when you're little. The only thing I can remember thinking about was going to college and playing. But once I got here and started playing, I really wanted to make the tournament. Then we made the tournament, and I just really wanted to keep going. It keeps increasing which each level you go, your dreams keep getting bigger."
What was it about the OSU campus that made you want to come here?
"I like the whole brick look of the buildings. Some of the buildings are brand new but they look older and some of the buildings that they've redone the inside of are still the original look on the outside. That's what I really liked about it."
You originally said that you wanted to come here in part for the coaching, but there was a change after your freshman year. Are you happy with the change? Has your experience been everything you expected?
"I was personally happy with the change. It was a change for the better, and it's not that I didn't like the other coach. But since we've changed, we've been a totally different program. We made it to the tournament and did things we've never done before. My experience has been even more than I ever expected. When you get recruited here, you don't think about how many times they have made the tournament or something, like if you were at UCLA, but now that we've gone to the tournament, we're changing that."
What was the most memorable game of the year for you?
"Probably the Ohio State game where we had an own goal against us, and then I scored two goals myself. They were both off of free kicks, so they were kind of lucky. I was really just thinking about the own goal, and not wanting to lose that way. It was probably the most memorable game of my career."
What aspect of your game are you most proud of on the soccer field?
"I'm probably the proudest of my passing and my vision on the field. Actually, I'm very calm under pressure, too. I don't get too excited when I play. People often tell me that I look too casual when I'm playing, but I can't change that. It's just how I play. I'm not usually nervous before games or anything."
How was the experience of traveling around during the NCAA Tournament?
"At first it was really hectic. We received text messages Monday morning saying that we were leaving Tuesday morning at 7am. Be packed for who knows how long, because we didn't know if we would come back if we won. So we had to wash all our clothes, and figure out all of our classes in one day, it was really busy. But once we got there, toward the end of it, we knew we had midterms and we wanted to get back and take care of it. But that experience is worth more than being at school. It was a good experience, being there with the team together. It was a lot of fun. The best part was hanging out with the team, and being able to bond together."
What was your least favorite part of the experience?
"Sitting around all day in the hotels. Every morning there wouldn't be much to do. We played games at 7pm, and during the week we just hung out at the hotel. It was freezing back east, like 30 degrees, and we couldn't walk around during the days when we didn't have games because of the cold."
What did it mean to you to be named team MVP for the 2009 season?
"It really meant a lot to me because it's voted on by my teammates. It felt really good. I didn't expect to be team MVP, because there was a lot of people that deserved it and easily could have won it."
Even though you lost in the Sweet 16, would you say that the season was a success?
"Easily a great success for us. No one even knew where we were from or anything when we got there. We were just the underdog who kept beating ranked team after ranked team. It was just amazing. It was a very successful season for us."
What goals do you have for the team next year and for yourself?
"As far as the team goes, I think we expect the team to make it back to the tournament. As far as going back to the Sweet 16, that doesn't just happen. We have to work hard to get back there. We hope for that, but it will take a lot of work. I'm going to do my best to make sure we get back there."
What do you want to do after college?
"If I am able to play soccer after college, that'd be nice. There's a pro league here in the US and a pro league in Europe as well. I don't know if it's likely, but it could happen. Playing after college would be my first option, but I am double majoring so I guess I have that as a backup. I don't know what exactly I would do if not soccer, but I know that with these two degrees I will have options."
Who is your favorite athlete?
"My favorite athlete has always been Michelle Akers. She had many setbacks in her career, including suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, and she had to constantly have IV's during and after games to keep playing. She's just a very inspiring person to follow because it wasn't easy for her to be who she was."