Nov. 1, 2010
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BERKELEY - The Nov. 7 match against Oregon State marks the last home game for the Cal women's soccer senior class. Among those three seniors that will be honored prior to the game is midfielder/defender Megan Jesolva. As a freshman, Jesolva was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, picked as Cal's Freshman of the Year and was selected a second-team Freshman All-American and to the All-West Region second team. In 2008, she led the team in assists with eight, registering multiple assists in two games and dishing out help on three-game winning goals. A Pac-10 All-Academic honorable mention in 2009, Jesolva has made multiple trips with the U.S. under-23 national team. This year, the La Mirada, Calif., native has a team-leading five assists. Jesolva will graduate next fall with a degree in English. CalBears.com caught up with Megan Jesolva to take a look back on her four years as a Golden Bear.
CalBears.com: What is your best Cal story or favorite Cal experience?
Megan Jesolva: My favorite Cal experience was going to Italy with the team. We had so much fun together exploring Italy, making pizzas, running into Manchester United and getting lost. It was something I will never forget.
CalBears.com: What will you miss most about Cal?
MJ: I will miss a lot of things about Cal. It's such a unique place with so much going on all of the time, but I think the thing I will miss most is being in the locker room with the girls before a game, blasting music and letting loose before we play.
CalBears.com: What are your career plans and what are you plans after graduation?
CalBears.com: Has Cal lived up to or has it been different/better than the expectations you had of it as a freshman?
MJ: I'm going to try and get drafted by a professional team in the spring, so hopefully that will work out. After soccer, I really want to become a teacher. It has always been a passion of mine and I am looking at my options through Teach for America.
I had very high expectations for college in general. Cal has been more than I ever thought it would be. It's been a roller coaster but it's been anything but boring.
CalBears.com: What's the most important thing you've learned while playing soccer at Cal?
MJ: I've learned to rely on my teammates and trust in their ability to get their jobs done. On a field with so many teammates, it becomes crucial to keep those around you accountable and to stay calm in stressful situations. I've learned to take criticism in a positive way, which has helped me to grow as a player and also help those around me.
CalBears.com: What is your favorite place to eat or go in Berkeley?
MJ: I LOVE Bongo Burger and I.B.'s Hoagies.
CalBears.com: What advice would you give to freshmen?
MJ: Keep an open mind and listen to your upper classmen even if you don't agree with it right away. We're only trying to help the team become successful. But most of all, have fun and enjoy every minute here; it goes by way too fast.
CalBears.com: What was the best class you took here?
MJ: I took a modern English lit class that was very interesting and the professor was hilarious. An all time favorite, though, was Education 75 because I met a lot of my friends in that class and it was cool to learn about sports in the media.
CalBears.com: What made you choose Cal?
MJ: No other school compared to it. It was everything I was looking for: great academically, a lot of people, football team, beautiful campus, great weather (most of the time) and most importantly, an amazing team.
CalBears.com: Do you have a favorite game or play or road trip?
MJ: Even though we lost, this year our game versus USC was my favorite because we came back and fought until the end. It was an emotionally draining, yet an amazing comeback.
CalBears.com: What are your other favorite Cal sports? Do you attend a lot of that sport's games?
MJ: My favorite sports here are football, men's soccer and rugby, and yes, I try and go to all of the games I can attend. The energy at the football games is unreal, men's soccer is just enjoyable to watch, and rugby is so brutal and exciting. I try and support all of the teams here if I can.