The Lakeland Mirror

Senior Forward Hannah Landgraf leads with her play and guidance

Brandon Rooker, Sports Editor

The Lakeland College Wom­en’s Soccer team has shown great promise throughout the 2012 season. A major contribu­tor has been the leadership and play of Senior Forward Hannah Landgraf.

“I love Hannah’s energy and leadership on and off the field,” said Muskie co-captain Liz Pritzl. “Hannah is a great teammate. She’s the kind of girl that you love to play with because she is so motivated and determined to do well that it’s contagious to the rest of the girls on the team. She is such a hard worker and always does her best. If a girl on the team scores a goal or does something great during a game or a practice, Hannah is the first one to run over to her and give her a high five or a compliment. She’s the type of player that gets more excited when one of her teammates does something amazing than herself. Hannah is awesome and I can’t say enough good things! I’m very happy to be her teammate.”

As a Senior, Landgraf is putting the finishing touches on a soccer career that has spanned the majority of her life. With her college eligibility running out, this season will likely be the last that Landgraf ever plays organized soccer. Along with her love of the game, Landgraf also enjoys the comradery that soccer gives to the teammates that play it and recognizes that it is growing rapidly in its American popularity.

“The fact that in America it’s not as popular as it is internationally in Europe [makes me want to endorse it],” Landgraf said. “It’s a growing sport. With the Olympics that just happened and the World Cups that have been going on, people are starting to see that this is cool.”

Landgraf said, “You see the heart and the drive of all those girls on the field and it’s just awesome to see, especially when you score. In other sports you score all the time. In soccer it’s either one and done, or you may get two or three. Whenever that happens it’s just the greatest feeling ever. It’s definitely rewarding.”

Landgraf has loved soccer since she was in grade school. “I first started playing probably [when I was] [in] kindergarten,” Landgraf said. “I was really competitive, even from a young age, so the competitive nature kept me going.”

Landgraf says her family has been a great influence on why she plays the game. “My parents [have been my greatest influence] just because they see me enjoying something, so they kept pushing me,” Landgraf said. “I also have a younger sister and when I got older she looked up to me, and I [thought I] should keep going because she was following in my footsteps. I wanted to be a role model to her, too.”

Landgraf has loved her time at Lakeland and is sad to be graduating. “The people [are what I will miss most about Lakeland],” Landgraf said. “I made a lot of close friends, and it’s easy to build a relationship here because you know everybody on campus. You get to know the professors and the coaches, and they get to know you. It’s more of a family than just somebody in your class or a professor or a coach. They are a big influence on your life, and you can use that to your advantage once you leave if you need references for a job.”

Though Lakeland’s record is not particularly good this season, Landgraf insists there is potential in the team.

“This year has just been awesome,” Landgraf said. “I’ve been extremely lucky to play with this group of girls. Our record doesn’t show it, but we’ve been extremely successful. We’re getting better every day with each practice and every game. I keep seeing improvements. This year so far, playing soccer with these girls has been spectacular.”

Landgraf is a Criminal Justice major with dreams of being a police officer when she graduates Lakeland. “Eventually, I will probably go to the police academy,” Landgraf said.
Graduation is still months away, and in the meantime Landgraf is promoting the Women’s soccer program on and off the field. “The women’s soccer program is rebuilding itself. We’ve had a tough few years, but people have to have confidence in us,” Landgraf said.

“They have to see that we come out every day and work our butts off. We get frustrated, but we never give up. We’d love [to have] the support [of the students] and have people come out and watch us and see what we can do,” she said.

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Senior Forward Hannah Landgraf leads with her play and guidance