Aug. 30, 2010
BERKELEY - Each week, CalBears.com will feature a freshman women's soccer player, and this week's participant is forward Rachel Mercik. Mercik, who prepped at Oak Ridge High School in the Sacramento area, is a member of the U.S. national under-20 pool and was recognized as the No. 18 player in the nation, according to the Top Drawer Soccer National Top-100 List. Cal head coach Neil McGuire notes that Mercik is an outstanding 1-v-1 attacking playmaker who can both create chances as well as take them. Mercik should make an easy transition to the rigorous academics at Cal for she was a member of her high school's key club in 2008 and national honor society member from 2007-10. CalBears.com chatted with Mercik to find out more about her off the pitch.
CalBears.com: What made you chose Cal?
Rachel Mercik: I chose Cal because of the surroundings and the bustling city life that came along with the prestige of the university. The very first time I came for a visit, I had a feeling about Cal, and now that I am actually here, I see exactly why I chose it. Also, the women's soccer student-athletes that I met on my visits were very welcoming and definitely helped to persuade me to come to Cal.
CalBears.com: What are your hobbies outside of soccer?
RM: Some of my hobbies outside of soccer are photography and fashion.
CalBears.com: Do you have any unique stories about yourself that set you apart from your teammates?
RM: I used to be into softball when I was younger and had to choose between soccer and softball. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I had stuck with softball.
CalBears.com: What's your favorite part about Berkeley and/or the Cal campus?
CalBears.com: What is the best thing about being a part of Cal women's soccer?
RM: The best part about Berkeley is the small and incredibly good hole-in-the-wall restaurants around town. It makes the city so personal and unique because no where else can you find a place like Gordo's Berkeley.
The best part about Cal women's soccer has to be my teammates. As a freshman, I didn't expect to be treated as equal, but they truly make me feel like I have been a part of the team as long as they have. Every personality is different, and that's what makes our team unique.
CalBears.com: Did you grow up watching Cal athletics? What has it been like to represent them?
RM: Unfortunately, I actually did not grow up watching Cal athletics. I used to live in the San Jose/Mountain View area before I moved to Sacramento, so coming to Cal games was not on my radar yet! Now, wearing the Cal attire is so surreal. I plan to support my school by going to as many games as my schedule allows!
CalBears.com: What are you planning on or thinking of majoring in?
RM: I am planning on majoring in business administration. It is very tough to get into the Haas School of Business, so the next two years are going to be quite a workload!
CalBears.com: What class are you most looking forward to this fall?
RM: I am most excited for my astronomy class this semester. The teacher is very well known and I have heard the class is very informing as well as intriguing.
CalBears.com: Which three people would you invite to dinner?
RM: I would invite Stevie Nicks, Harvey Milk and Michael Jordan.
CalBears.com: What is your biggest pet peeve?
RM: My biggest pet peeve has to be the sound of people chewing ice. It really makes me cringe.
CalBears.com: Do you have a hidden talent? What is it?
RM: I can belly dance, but it is a weird talent that I don't show to many people.
CalBears.com: If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would buy?
RM: I would probably buy my parents a house on the beach because they deserve it for everything that they did for me and my soccer career! I would also buy a new car for myself.
CalBears.com: What is one thing you can't live without?
RM: I literally cannot live without my computer. I am a huge computer nerd, believe it or not.