On the pitch, junior Hannah Walker (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) spent most of her first two seasons at Eastern Mennonite playing defense. But during this season, she has made a transition to midfield and is now sparking her team on both sides of the ball.
Part of her recent success was against Guilford College where her offensive presence became prominent in a 1-0 victory. Hannah earned an assist on the game’s only goal.
“As a team, I think we felt very confident going into the game that if we played our best, we could control the game and win,” Hannah said on the victory. “I believe this confidence showed in many of the players from the beginning that even the delay could not bring down the energy.”
The lone assist and control over the last few minutes helped the Royals grab the win and make a move up in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference standings.
Hannah’s move to a midfielder was one that she was ready to take on.
“When coach and I first talked about the transition, I was excited,” Hannah stated. “I had known for a while that I more naturally play the holding mid position, but I have not played any other position besides center defense in about six years. The idea of moving forward a few yards does not seem very different, but in reality, it's pretty different.”
The difference is one that can be seen as troubling to an athlete, but Hannah has been working at becoming in tune with the new position.
“Hannah has been a strong piece to our defensive stand the past few seasons. This year we saw a skill set in Hannah that we felt could help us out in our current formation that we were playing,” Head Coach Ted Erickson said. “Hannah has been committed to learning the position and giving us a strong holding midfield presence but also the dynamic attack piece that forces our opponents to play both ways.”
With an influx of new players on the team, this year has seen its share of nice wins and close losses, and Hannah has been a stable presence on the pitch for the Royals.
“This season has been challenging but a lot of fun,” said Hannah. “The players are all a lot of fun in their own way, and they bring that to our friendships and the field.”
Hannah leans towards the growth of the team as being part of the team’s success this season and what will help them as a whole moving forward.
“As the season has gone on, each player has grown into their own position and leadership styles, and this has benefited us greatly,” explained Hannah. “That confidence piece, I believe, will also be very influential. We need to stick with our motto of ‘together anything is possible,’ and so far this season we have been living into that, and I could not be prouder of this team”
Hannah and the women’s soccer team look to continue their winning ways as they head into the postseason. With the confidence that Hannah has built in her new position, she will be a vital part in the postseason.
-- by Jake Brown, Sports Information Intern