Athlete of the week: Sommer Denison

Last weekend the Swarthmore Women’s Soccer team won their second Centennial Conference Championship in four years after beating 10th-ranked Johns Hopkins University. The Garnet held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half, but Hopkins was able to tie the game up and send it to a penalty shootout, where the Garnet prevailed 3-1. Crucial in the win was goalkeeper Sommer Denison ʼ18, who made two big saves during penalty kicks for the Garnet to secure the win. Denison earned Centennial Conference tournament MVP honors for her performance. The Garnet move on to NCAA playoffs, and will face Susquehanna University on Nov. 11 in Geneva, New York.

Jack Corkery: What is your major, and what made you decide to pursue it?

Sommer Denison: I am an Economics and Psychology major. I chose Economics because I think it prepares me to work in business after college, and I chose Psychology because I really enjoyed the classes here at Swarthmore.

JC: What made you decide to attend Swarthmore?

SD: I am from California and wanted to attend college on the East coast, so that led me to look here. Also, Swarthmore is a great institution academically, and it worked out that I could also play soccer here, which meant it basically fit all parts of my checklist for a desired college.

JC: This is your first season in the net. What was the transition from field player to goalie like?

SD: It was definitely very different. It was almost like I was playing a new sport within the sport I had played my whole life! But, it was a lot of fun, and the coaches and Amy [Shmoys], the other goalie, made the transition a lot easier.

JC: Did you know that you would enter the game for penalty kicks before the championship game started?

SD: Yes, I did. Before our game against Haverford, Reba [Magier], our goalie coach, told me that I would be entering the game if it went to penalty kicks if I was up for it. I told her yes, and then it didn’t matter since we won in regulation. Then, against Johns Hopkins, once they tied the game up and we got to the second overtime I realized that I would probably be going in.

JC: What was the team morale like during the game after Johns Hopkins was able to tie the game back up?

SD: Surprisingly, we were still very positive even after we gave up the lead. I think we really showed grit and didn’t put our heads down, which is why we were able to pull out the victory in the end.

JC: What is the team’s outlook going forward as your team moves into the NCAA playoffs?

SD: There is definitely a positive energy that I think we are going to carry over from our finals victory into our first-round matchup. I think we are confident and that we are ready to play our game.

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