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TEN QUESTIONS FOR SOPHOMORE FORWARD JESSICA YOUNG
Jessica Young leads the Retrievers with 12 goals and 25 points, both career highs.
Q: What would you say is your greatest asset on the soccer field?
Jessica Young: Speed. The team constantly says that Iím the fastest player in the conference. Thatís my asset.
Q: Youíre just a sophomore and youíre already among the scoring leaders at UMBC.
JY: Itís really exciting, and thatís another goal for next season and the season after for me to achieve. Itís really, really exciting. And itís a motivating factor.
Q: Heading into your first conference tournament, what are your emotions and expectations for yourself and the team?
JY: Iím nervous, but in a good way. Itís exciting. I expect the team to do really well. If we come out with our ĎAí game, weíre going to blow this conference away. My personal expectations are really high. I just need to stay mentally focused and do my thing and everything will fall into place after that.
Q: Talk about any differences you see in the team from last year to this year that allowed you to reach the postseason this year but not last year.
JY: As a unit, weíre more cohesive and we work together. We want it this year. People stay after to practice the littlest things to get them right, and that makes us successful. We work hard. We had the talent last year, but I donít think our heart was really in it. This year, we come out with a lot of heart and weíre really focused mentally, and we just go out there and do it.
Q: What made you choose UMBC?
JY: I didnít even know about UMBC until I came here my junior year and met with Dr. Hrabowski [school president]. He was really the one that influenced me. And then I met Michelle [Salmon, head coach] and played for her club team, and I really liked her coaching style and personality, so I came here for an official visit. I liked the team. Itís like a family unit, and I really liked that. And the school Ė itís not too small and not too big. And itís a really cute campus and I really just really liked it. I felt at home when I came.
Q: What has been your favorite moment on the soccer field?
JY: This season, when I scored the goal that sent us into overtime against
Q: Whatís something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
JY: I really, really love classical music. But I love to dance too. Most people know I like to read, and I like to be by myself to think a lot. But I like to hang out, too.
Q: You excel in the classroom, as well. How do you balance the academics with athletics at such high levels?
JY: Itís a talent, I guess Ė good time management. I learned it from my mother. She was very adamant since I was really young to balance school. School comes first. I always had to do my homework before I could go to soccer practice. I use my planner, and my PDA is always with me. I stay focused, I donít let distractions get me, even though they are there.
Q: Describe your emotions when you score a goal.
JY: Itís just a rush of adrenaline. I could be winded, make a 50-yard sprint and score, and then turn around and sprint to my teammates. I feel no pain, no exhaustion. I just feel really, really pumped up, and Iím like, ĎYeah, letís get another!í It makes me really excited.
Q: What do you do in your spare time?
JY: I read and watch cartoons. SpongeBob SquarePants is my favorite cartoon. It just numbs my mind and lets me get away for a little bit. I like to listen to classical music to relax.