This week, I sat down with Kendall Kraus ’15, the co-captain of the women’s soccer team, before the team’s Sunday’s win against St. John’s University. So far this season, the Big Green is 1-2-1, with losses to No. 14 University of Portland and to the University of Washington. A 0-0 tie against Albany University last week and a 2-0 win over St. John’s University on Sunday extended the team’s unbeaten streak at Burnham Field to an impressive 14 games over the last three seasons. So far this season, Kraus has not registered a point, but has three shots on net.
What are your thoughts on this year’s preseason?
KK: So far, we have been playing really well. We’re all really happy with [new head coach Ron Rainey]. The atmosphere has been really good. We’re all pumped up. The team is just bonding really well, and we’re all on the same page, so it’s been awesome.
How did your recent trip to Seattle go?
KK: We played two pretty tough teams: Portland and UW. We played really well even though we lost both. It was good competition, and we were proud of ourselves at the end of the weekend. It was good — we learned a lot.
Did you get to do anything fun other than playing while you were there?
KK: We did. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Pike Place [Market]. On our off day, the team went down there and did some shopping.
What has been your favorite part of preseason?
KK: We went to Camp Merriwood one day. It was an off day. It was this camp that people go to for weeks in the summer and we all just went on paddleboards, got really good food and it was just super relaxing. Everyone just kind of did their own thing and then we all ate together. It was really fun.
Do you have any team tradition you do every preseason?
KK: We make posters for the freshmen before our first home game, so they got those the other night, and that’s nice. When we get back from our away trips, the juniors put welcome home posters on everyone’s dorms. We have something coming up, but its still a secret to the freshmen.
Do you have any predictions right now for how the season is going to go?
KK: I think if we keep playing the way we’re playing and getting better each day, because that’s been a huge part of our preseason, I think we’re definitely hoping to win the Ivy League. We have the potential and we can do it as long as we are growing every day.
How has it been for you being a senior on the team this year?
KK: It’s really cool. It’s definitely kind of weird. I think all of us can agree that you have to assume more of a leadership role and just embrace it way more than before, but it’s been pretty cool. Ron is great with communicating, and so all that has been good.
Do you have any personal superstitions or have any game day rituals you always do?
KK: Yeah, kind of. I always listen to a few of the same songs beforehand like “Let it Rock” by Kevin Rudolph, “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World and “Harder to Breathe” by Maroon 5. And then in the locker room, a few of us have this bouncy ball type thing that’s green with white stars and just kind of juggle it in the middle of the locker room before every home game. And then I always put my shoes and socks and everything on the same way — the right shinguard, then the left, then the right sock followed by the left, then the right shoe followed by the left.
This interview has been edited and condensed.