June 14, 2024

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Liz Hansen’s Mental Health Journey Leads Her to Perfect Home, Record-Setting Career

Senior Liz Hansen set a record by taking part in 6,479 minutes for the duration of her occupation as a defender on the Viking women’s soccer workforce. She eclipsed Kristen Moyer’s record of 6,393, established in 2017, by 84 minutes, practically an whole match.
But, she in all probability was in a place to complete that only simply because her lifestyle shed concentrate her junior 12 months in substantial college.
A 3-calendar year nationwide honor culture member, she read from the likes of Harvard, Oregon State, Pepperdine, and Seattle University on the strength of her singularly targeted existence on the pitch and in the classroom. She tackled anything head-on with full concentration.
And, which is what took place her junior year when she got associated with a very social group at Century Large University in Hillsboro.
“I uncovered myself placing soccer in the backseat, solely focusing on my social life,” Hansen recalled. She give up heading to soccer exercise. As for academics…well, “I was more centered on the friends I had or going out.” It was strange, she stated, since “I was always the female who plays soccer all the time. So, as quickly as I received a flavor of social daily life, I needed that all the time.”
Her mental health and self-image took a large strike through that period of time.
Throughout her senior year, her soccer club mentor took her apart and claimed she was blowing an possibility to enjoy higher education soccer, a journey that begun at the age of four. By then, even though, she’d lost touch with the colleges who’d watched her all through her to start with two or 3 years of superior faculty. In simple fact, she finished up with no features.
“I misplaced my higher education interest/features and truly failed to believe I was heading to participate in higher education soccer,” she explained.
Her club coach Bill Irwin realized then PSU Head Coach Laura Schott, who was in her final 12 months main the Viking method. “Bill arrived at out to PSU and vouched for me. Laura gave me the offer to play for her with no even looking at my enjoy. I will forever be grateful for Monthly bill Irwin.” She also credits her grandfather Bob Hansen for currently being “one of the most significant supporters in my everyday living. He has specified me the commitment to preserve going.”
Modern head coach Katie Burton hadn’t identified about Hansen when she arrived to consider more than the Vikings Hansen’s freshman yr.
The previous Sacramento Condition head soccer coach stated her principal recruiting spot experienced been northern and southern California. “It took some time to get to know the community clubs and gamers. On the other hand, experienced I viewed Liz engage in in club, she would have stood out to me as a participant who could perform properly in my design of play. She was athletic, particularly coachable, and a good teammate. She was robust, swift, and experienced good footwork which is a ought to in this meeting.”
Hansen was a “recently on-her-own adult, attempting to determine out her way and get up to speed with the greater stage of perform,” mentioned Burton. Hansen agreed that she was nevertheless reeling emotionally as a freshman. But, with the enable of a new boyfriend, pals, and her family “I’m undertaking a large amount far better now.” She has graduated (cum laude with a 3.74 cumulative GPA) with a diploma in enterprise marketing and small in psychology even though managing an on-campus donut store, finding out, and playing soccer. 
And, soccer is the moment a lot more a central aspect of her lifetime. She strategies to place herself into the NWSL draft. If that would not work out, she’d “like to perform anywhere that would give me the opportunity” …maybe France…because “soccer around there is wholly various than in the US.” In excess of there, soccer is every thing,” she explained.
Hansen will come from an athletic spouse and children. Her mom, Martha, played soccer escalating up. Dad, Aaron, was a 5. tennis participant (and she lettered in tennis as a significant faculty freshman). Her brothers Chris and Mike played soccer and tennis. “Athletics are a huge thing in my family,” she stated.
She started out taking part in soccer at age 4 and remembers her very first soccer staff was “Environmentally friendly Grass.”
Soccer was often her initial priority escalating up and she grew to become significant about it when she recognized how passionate she was about the sport and that she seemed to be good at it. “I had a ton of energy developing up, so soccer was a great outlet for me.”
Hansen describes herself as a “aggressive particular person” and claimed soccer “is the most enjoyable sport to compete with your pals. I love the soccer culture. I also relished soccer simply because it was my escape from the exterior earth. I’ve also worked full time all through my higher education vocation and apply gave me an possibility to shut other factors out for a 2nd.”
Whilst she admits some regret at getting misplaced the chance to analyze at a place like Harvard, she’s delighted with the way matters turned out.
“I really went all the way to Massachusetts to show up at an ID camp at Harvard. It was these kinds of a neat practical experience. I took a chance with PSU due to the fact I experienced no other choices. But, seriously, enable me explain to you, it was the most ideal determination. I have appreciated my time in this article incredibly a great deal. I grew shut with my workforce and also satisfied my boyfriend of three decades below. Portland is this kind of a cool position to live! There was always stuff for us to do or new spots for adventure (despite the fact that she wishes she’d had a lot more time to take a look at),” said Hansen.
Other than producing as a person, Burton claimed Hansen also created well in soccer. She attained an All-Significant Sky honorable mention nod in 2017 and Academic All-Large Sky honors the previous 3 years.
“Liz has made leaps and bounds in her development around her 5 yrs below. She is now the leader, not only in our backline but to the complete group. With 50 percent her course not returning for their further year, Liz experienced to move up as a vocal chief for the group this tumble. She elevated the expectations and expectations which has brought young gamers together this yr,” mentioned Burton, who explained Hansen as “an all-about good human. She puts others’ demands and the team’s wants first. She has bought into the procedure for 5 yrs, which has been the glue that retained our development going.”
Hansen, she claimed, “is a crack up. She’s that teammate who often keeps factors constructive, retains all people on their toes with her humor.”
Her individual wobble has moved Hansen to be additional tuned in to the psychological wellness needs of remaining an athlete. She’s an advocate for mental health and fitness in sports and in typical. “I like to look at myself a safe location for men and women to arrive and permit anything out. Everyone deserves to be read. Far more athletes than you assume battle with psychological overall health on a daily basis.”
“In general, I’m extremely satisfied I designed the choice to arrive play at this college. I’m grateful for the people I’ve met, memories I have designed, and everyday living competencies I’ve learned.”
And, she’s particularly happy to have regained target in soccer and the matters in daily life that are actually significant.