Christen Press had an unbelievable year last year. Press, who is from Palos Verdes Estates, led the nation in scoring with 26 goals and in points with 60. Press has numerous awards from her young career, which includes the prestigious 2010 MAC Hermann Award, NCAA College Cup appearances and winning the USL W-League with the Pali Blues while going undefeated in 2009. We had a quick Q&A with Press, who was recently drafted by the Washington Freedom, who is in between studying for her last semester at Stanford and training with the US U-23s.
Q. How did you first get into playing soccer?
CP: I started playing when I was 5 and was really disinterested my first year. I played with both boys and girls and never touched the ball, according to my mom. My second year, for some unforeseeable reason, I was incredibly competitive and involved in the game and fell in love with scoring goals and winning games.
Q. Now that you’ve had some time think about your collegiate career, what are the things that stand out to you?
CP: Over the past four years, my incredible teammates taught me how to work hard. They pushed me to be better, demanded more from me, and I owe them so much for that.
Q. What was your favorite moment of the 2010 Stanford season?
CP: My favorite moment from this season was beating UCLA 3-0 in the pouring rain in the NCAA College Cup. I think that win showed how far we have come as a program in the last 4 years.
Q. Which 2011 returning Stanford player impressed you the most during the 2010 season?
CP: Alina (Garciamendez) took great strides both as a player and a leader this season. She was a sophomore captain and became such a commanding part of our defense.
Q. How has it helped that you have played with some of the girls on the Stanford team with Pali last summer?
CP: Playing for Pali was so instrumental in my success for the last two years. First, being able to play competitive soccer throughout the summer gives you such an advantage over girls who are trying to get ready for the college seasons by working out alone. Also, training daily with a few of my teammates gets us all on the same page and in the right mindset for the upcoming season.
Q. You have scored some extravagant goals in your career, which one is your favorite?
CP: My sophomore year, scoring against Portland in the final minute of the quarterfinals was definitely the most exciting goal. We were headed to the College Cup for the first time in years, and it was supremely invigorating having scored in the last minute of the game.
Q. What did you take away from your time with the Pali Blues, which includes going undefeated in route to the 2009 USL W-League Title?
CP: I got to play with some incredible players over the last two summers with Pali Blues. It was important for me to get used to playing with new players and people I did not know. It was a great learning experience transitioning with new teammates, some foreign.
Q. Drafted fourth in the recent WPS draft and selected by the Washington Freedom what are your expectations of the upcoming year in WPS.
CP: I was very excited to be drafted to Washington. Location-wise, I think it was the ideal place for me to go (moving to Florida) and I am really excited to play with such a talented squad.
Q. You had a lot happen in the last year. Anyone give you any particularly good advice?
CP: The best advice I actually read in Agassi’s autobiography, Open. Andre writes, "How beautiful to dream. But dreams... are so damned tiring." I quote his coach, "I can’t promise you that you won’t be tired. But please know this. There’s a lot of good waiting for you on the other side of tired. Get yourself tired, Andre. That’s where you’re going to know yourself, on the other side of tired."