With the 2nd pick in round 1…Boston Breakers select…Lauren Cheney! Lauren Cheney from UCLA!”
Lauren Cheney’s life leading up to the draft was, in her words, “a little bit hectic.” UCLA’s run to the NCAA title game ended in the Final Four as the Bruins fell to the Stanford Cardinal 2-1 in overtime. Cheney finished her finals while at the Final Four and flew out to take part in the National camp that went from December 5th to December 15th.
From national team camp, it was back to being at home for some “[much] needed time at home with my family before returning to school and training again to get ready for the season.”
As the lead up to the draft began, the top picks were under careful scrutiny. There were guessing games amongst the fans and media alike as to who would be selected and by whom. Cheney, like O’Hara, Engen, and Washington, wasn’t immune to the whispers of predictions.
“I don’t think I really had a choice. So many people were like ‘oh I heard you’re going here, I heard you’re going here.’ And you know, like Tobin said [after being selected], you don’t know until you’re up there.” Cheney said. “And obviously I’m so close to the other 4 [or] 5 girls here, and we’re a special class so I’m just excited for everyone.”
Coming into the season as the second overall pick, expectations were high for the former Bruin star. The Indianapolis, Indiana native is no stranger to the pressure or expectations having competed at the Olympic Games in 2008 and having been to four Final Fours with the Bruins.
But for Cheney, pressure isn’t an issue.
“I definitely think pressure is in your control. I don’t feel any pressure, I’m gonna go in and I’m gonna play soccer like I always have. I’m so honored and so blessed to be able to play professionally that I don’t feel any pressure.”
As for the expectations from the fans and media? Well, she doesn’t really believe in expectations.
“The game of soccer doesn’t change just because I am at a different level. I love to play and as long as I am enjoying it, I don’t think expectation will be an issue” Cheney stated matter-of-factly.
So far, Cheney seems to be living up to the expectations others have for her, even if she doesn’t believe in them. She scored a goal on opening day versus the Freedom and had several other close opportunities. Beyond the expectations and the goals, Cheney hopes to bring one thing to the 2010 Boston Breakers team.
“I want to bring fun. I absolutely love playing the game and I want to bring that every practice and game”
Photo courtsey of Charlotte Mace