April 5, 2013
BERKELEY - The California women's lacrosse team is currently tied for first place in the MPSF Conference. The Golden Bears begin a three-game conference road trip this weekend with a contest at Oregon on Sunday, April 7. CalBears.com had a chance to sit down with freshman Brynn Gasparino to discuss how her freshman campaign is going.
CalBears.com: Now that we're past the halfway point in the season, have you been pleased with the way your freshman season is going?
Brynn Gasparino: I think a freshman's innate characteristic is to be nervous. But my coaches and teammates have made the transition from high school to college an easier one than expected. As an athlete, there is always something to improve on and I really like that challenge of competing with myself. It keeps me on my toes and eager to learn how to improve.
CB: How did it feel to win MPSF Rookie of the Week honors earlier this year?
BG: It was a very exciting honor, and I was pleased to be recognized among such talented athletes.
CB: How much do you feel your game has improved as the season has gone on? Does it get easier or harder with each game?
BG: It definitely gets easier with each game. During our first game against JMU, I was constantly telling myself to relax. Now, I don't think about my nerves as much and can concentrate more on just playing. The upperclassmen and the coaches help me everyday at practice and are incredibly supportive. It is hard to break away from my old habits, but that is something that I continue to work on.
CB: What's it like having your older sister, Paige, on the team with you?
BG: It's great; she has been extremely patient with me. She tells me I need to figure stuff out for myself a lot, but I know she'll be there to answer any of my questions. Paige has really great field sense, which is something that I really hope I can improve on. She has set me up to score a lot, including my first collegiate goal verse the Canadian National team!
CB: Besides lacrosse, how have you enjoyed your first year at Cal? Coming from the East Coast, what do you think of California?
BG: I have absolutely loved being at Cal, It is very different then my small town in Connecticut, but that is what I really appreciate about it. Spending afternoons on Sproul in between classes is one of my favorite things to do here. I love all of the pandemonium, whether it is protestors and flyers, or the singing groups--it is all so intriguing. Cal has also introduced me to such great people, including my teammates. They are such down-to-earth people that I am really grateful for them being in my life.
CB: Do you know what you want your major to be yet?
BG: Having the breadth requirements has really introduced me to classes that I would not originally think of taking. They have led me to lean towards becoming sociology major. I really enjoy working with children, and hope to work with them on an everyday basis once I graduate.
CB: Have you had any sort of freshman moment yet, whether it is with?
BG: I have probably had a few too many freshman moments, whether it is being late or forgetting something I need for practice. One of the ones I find funny now is during the first few days of practice, Coach Z (the strength and conditioning coach) would be warming up the team and telling us to face the bay or the hills depending on what we were doing. My roommate, Lizz, and I would just look at each other thinking, 'how are we supposed to know that?'
CB: What made you decide to come to Cal? Did your sister already being here have an impact on your decision?
BG: Honestly, I first heard about Cal during my obsession with The OC. After I watched the episode where Ryan and Marissa (two main characters) got accepted, I became obsessed. I learned more about Cal when Paige was getting recruited and it became my dream school, I was insanely jealous. Paige inevitably impacted my decision, but I just saw it as an added bonus. Between the unique urban culture, amazing academics and talented sports teams, it was impossible to turn down!
CB: Coming down the stretch now for the final month of the season, what is the team working on to get stronger heading into these final conference matches and the conference tournament?
BG: We have been focusing on our game and I think that has been working for us. Not concentrating a lot on our opponents and really just piecing together Cal lacrosse is our biggest strength...when we all work together. And of course Allison (Comito) has us taking a lot of shots during practice, and that is definitely my favorite thing to do!