Sophomore Shannen Wacker looks to overcome shadow
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 23:09
One look at sophomore Shannen Wacker’s athletic achievements is enough to convince anyone that she is a standout athlete.
It seems impossible that an athlete who landed a spot on the A-Sun all freshman team and was named A-Sun tournament MVP after scoring the game winning goal, taking FGCU to their first ever NCAA tournament could slip under the radar.
So far this season, focus has been emphasized mainly on ten freshman players that dominate the team.
However after recently being named the College Sports Madness Player of the week and A-Sun player of the week it’s clear Wacker won’t remain in the shadows for much longer.
The Colorado native came to FGCU with an impressive high school resume.
Wacker led the women’s team at Ponderosa high school with 21 goals and five assists in her 2010 season, which led Wacker to receive an All-Continental League first team honor and second-team All State for class 5A. However her transition from high school to a division one team was a challenge.
“High school soccer in Colorado isn’t as big as some other states,” Wacker said. “There’s not a lot of competition either, so coming from high school to college was a lot harder of a process but the soccer itself is a lot better.”
As far as this season is concerned, Wacker has picked up right where she left off. She is currently tied for first on the team for goals scored and has started and played in every game so far. Head Coach Jim Blankenship knows just how valuable of an asset Wacker has been.
“Shannen has been really well for us. She’s an example to the other kids,” Blankenship said. “She’s worked really hard on parts of her game to try and get better and she’s having a really good year so far.”
With ten freshmen in the hunt, Wacker knows how hard she has to work to stay competitive.
“There’s always an open opportunity for playing a position and every week is like a new battle because you want to do just as well as the week before and all the freshman have the same opportunity as you,” Wacker said. “I hope as a team we can just be as successful if not better than we were last year.”
Coach Blankenship has high hopes for Wacker and her upcoming years playing soccer.
“We’re hoping she becomes that kid that separates herself and becomes that player that fulfills expectations,” Blankenship said. “She’s worked hard at her game and she’s maturing and improving and we’re starting to see her success on the field.”