Veronica Gibbons ’24, senior captain from Pittsburgh, PA, led the Swarthmore women’s soccer team to great success this season. The midfielder scored twice in the Garnet’s match against Washington College on Oct. 25, securing a 2-0 victory and top-two seed in the Centennial Conference playoffs.
Compounding her contributions, Gibbons scored both goals for the second game in a row in Swarthmore’s 2-0 win over Haverford College last Saturday. The victory put Swarthmore into a tie for first place in the conference with No. 9-ranked Johns Hopkins University, as both teams boast an 8-1-1 record. The tie forced a coin flip to determine the top-seed for the conference tournament, in which Swarthmore came out victorious. Gibbons, Centennial Conference’s Athlete of the Week (10/31), has six goals this season, impressively with four headers.
Sophia Vesely: Can you tell us about the team’s win against Haverford College?
Veronica Gibbons: In past years, the last regular season game has been a bit of a hiccup, especially when playing on Haverford’s grass field. I am very pleased that we broke that pattern. Additionally, we executed some changes in the second half that were really effective in building out of the back. Therefore, we gained another tool in the toolbox that we can use in the postseason.
SV: How did it feel to score two goals?
VG: Putting the ball in the net is satisfying, especially because the past few weeks have been populated by low-scoring games. I really enjoy being able to contribute to the team both defensively and offensively.
SV: How does it feel to be the top-seed in Centennial Conference playoffs?
VG: I’m very glad to be the top seed because we get to play at home! If we make it to the finals, I will be able to sleep in my own bed and carry out my everyday routines as usual. It also makes it easier for my family to come watch.
SV: What are some of the team’s goals for the postseason?
VG: We really want to work on maintaining our energy levels. It has been a long season, and we hope that it will be even longer, so we have to pay close attention to rest and recovery. At the same time, we want to stay present and enjoy ourselves. One of our mottos is to “play carefree.”
SV: What are some of your personal goals for the postseason?
VG: Sadly, at this point in the season, every game I play could be my last. I want to make sure that I am proud of how I end my soccer career. That is, I do everything in my power to elongate it. I also want to make sure I’m consistently indicating to my teammates how much I believe in them. I’ll say it here: we can win it all.
SV: Do you have any pre- or post-game rituals?
VG: My biggest concern prior to games is hydrating. After games, I like to talk to my parents about how I performed or watch some film of the game. If I don’t have this objectivity, I can’t sleep because I tend to replay my mistakes over and over again in my head.
SV: Why did you choose Swarthmore, and what are you studying?
VG: I had never heard of Swarthmore before Coach Todd emailed me during my sophomore year of high school. After doing some research, I found that it aligned with some of my interests — small school, academically challenging, and relatively close to home. I really fell in love with the campus and was impressed by the maintenance of the arboretum. I also appreciated the accessibility to the Crum woods. I am an English Literature major with a creative writing focus, but my goal is to go to medical school.
SV: What is your favorite Dining Center bar?
VG: Field of Greens!