Up Close & Personal with Lauren McLelland

One of our captains, junior Lauren McLelland is up next as we continue our series of Up Close interviews with the Lady Bobcats. McLelland, a midfielder/forward for the squad hails from Salisbury, N.C. In the classroom she is pursuing a degree in health science with plans to get into physical or occupational therapy.

1. What made you decide to come to Lees-McRae College? I absolutely love the mountains, and I had a great time on my recruiting visit and just kept coming back. I love the weather; I love the scenery; I love the people. It's just an all around great time!

2. What are you most looking forward to this season? I enjoyed playing with a very skilled and dedicated group of ladies and adding to our family and also adding a few more wins!

3. In which part of the game does your strength lie? I would say that I read the field very well and know what decisions and plays need to be executed at what times. Also, I think I communicate well with the other players and do my best keep their heads up when they start to get down.

4. What do you do to prepare yourself for matches? I go to bed early. Also, I don't drink any Cheerwine for a few days before (for those of you that don't know, it's cherry soda). I have to listen to some upbeat music and I usually try to dance a little bit... it lets the tension out.

5. Who has had the biggest impact on your soccer career? My mother…She was always trying to make every game growing up, and she didn't do it because she loved sports, she did it because she saw how happy playing made me. I still don't think she understands all the rules of the game, but she's right there on the sidelines screaming for me. Also, my best friend Nathan, he used to make me go with him to shoot balls all the time and try new tricks. I don't know how many nets we ripped apart or how many balls his dog ate, but we had a good time. I do all that I can to make him proud.

6. What is your favorite part about being a member of the Bobcat soccer team? My favorite part is all the good times and inside jokes. We have got to be the closest team on campus and as one of the biggest, that's an accomplishment in itself. We just all work really hard and don't let one another give up. It's the biggest support system I have up here. These girls are my family. I don't know what I'd do without them.

7. What is the biggest mental challenge you face on the field? The biggest challenge I face is probably being confident in myself as a player.

8. Who has been the biggest role model in your life? How? Nathan. He accomplished the things he set out to accomplish. He wanted to play soccer in high school even though he had a full schedule with all of his JROTC events and work and school, and he did. He actually started a few games as a rookie senior. He wanted to join the Marines even though he knew it would be dangerous, and he did. He wanted to die a hero, and he did. He is the greatest hero that I have ever met, and I am blessed and honored to be called his best friend. The person that I am today is the person that his friendship and love made me.

9. What is your idea of a perfect afternoon? My perfect afternoon is a nice long hike in the woods, a dip in the creek, tanning on a rock, followed by an M&M McFlurry and finished up with a movie and some popcorn.

10. If you could try something new today what would you try and why? I would try a zipline. I think it would be fun and I see billboards for it everywhere!

11. Describe your favorite dessert. Is it okay to have four? Butter Finger Blizzard from Dairy Queen, M&M McFlurry, Mom's Blackberry or Peach Cobbler, and Toot's Chocolate Pie... it's heaven in your mouth!