Athlete of the Week: Women’s Soccer Goal Keeper Lena Perry, ’17
Our athlete of the week for this issue is a standout performer on the Pacific women’s soccer team. Goalkeeper Lena Perry ’17 has had a great senior year for the Tigers, posting an .802 save percentage and helping Pacific record 7.50 saves per game this season, which ranks eighth in the country. Perry has 73 saves in eleven games played, and earlier this season was voted HERO Sports’ “HERO of the Week.” Perry earned the title from the college sports site for her exceptional performance against No. 18 UCONN Huskies, in which she tallied sixteen saves. Perry told The Pacifican she was grateful for the award.
“This honor was very unexpected and I was so happy when I heard about it,” said Perry. “My teammates and coaching staff did their best to get people to vote, and I really appreciate everyone that did this for our program. It was a great opportunity for people to recognize our team.” So far this season, Perry has been working to become great not only in front of the goal, but also in front of her teammates. “This season’s personal goal is to be better than I was last season. I want to be able to play my heart out for the girls I have been with for these past four years; the experience would be completely different without them,” said the senior. “I want to develop into a stronger leader so that I can lead my team to a strong result at the end of conference.” On a team scale, Perry said that the Tigers’ goals are focused on more than just what happens on the field. The women aim to become better in many aspects that they will find useful throughout their lives. “[Our goal] is to be better than we were last fall and to play as a family unit. We want to be a stronger program, mentally and physically.” Perry explained that the team set four goals for itself this season: to be patient, loyal, resilient, and confident. “We also have a team academic goal, to get above a cumulative 3.3 GPA at the end of the semester,” she noted.
A native of Van Nuys, CA, in the Los Angeles area, Perry decided to come to Pacific four years ago partly because it is far enough from home for her to grow as an individual, yet close enough to home to make the trip back when she wanted to visit. “Pacific’s staff was very approachable and saw my potential coming out of high school; I wanted to build a strong program when I came to Pacific,” Perry said. “I also fell in love with the beauty of the school and loved the strong academic curriculum.” When asked about her fondest memory during her time at Pacific, Perry reflected on the spring semester of her freshman year. “I really enjoyed spending time with the upper classmen on the team as well as the classes I was taking that semester. My best friend was also on the team during that semester, and we would hang out in every way possible and shared so many laughs.”
The Pacifican asked Perry what position she would prefer to play if she were not a goalkeeper. “If I weren’t the last line of defense, my next choice would be the first line of offense, as a forward. I think it is so fun to be able to run on to through ball or over the top of the defender,” she said. “It would also be a rewarding experience to be able to score for my team.” When she isn’t playing soccer, Perry enjoys watching movies and reading fantasy novels. She is also very interested in music and often plays the piano and guitar in her spare time. “If it weren’t for soccer, I would probably spend most of my time at the gym, as well, taking yoga, cycling, or dance classes for fun.” A health and exercise sport science major, Perry is concentrating in sports medicine and has minors in business administrations and biological sciences. After she graduates in the spring, Perry wants to go to medical school, specifically physician assistant school.
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