In Their Own Words: Shannon McCabe

Feb. 21, 2007

Throughout the 2007 season, members of the University of Kansas soccer team will offer their thoughts on various topics in the first person. This week, freshman Shannon McCabe is in the spotlight.

On the team heading into the spring season:
“We didn’t end on the note that we wanted to and I think that’s still in the back of our minds. There are still a lot of young players on the team, including myself, so we want to use this time to get faster and stronger and come together more as a team. We only lost a couple of starters from last year, so we want to get better with the core we have now. We also want to avoid injuries. We need to have everybody on the field.”

On her expanding role this season:
“As a freshman it was a privilege to play as much as I did. I won’t ever take that for granted. As a sophomore I feel like I have to step it up even more, just to secure my spot or even to push my teammates. I have higher expectations of myself now that I’ve seen what I can do. Towards the beginning of the year, I was intimidated by schools like Texas and Texas A&M. I was just worried about how I was going to do against competition like that. But after one season, you realize that if you put in the hard work, we’re at the same level as those schools. This year we lost to Texas A&M in overtime, so who knows what is going to happen next year. Now, I know we can compete, so it gives me more confidence heading into next year. I’m definitely not as nervous as I was (before this year).”

On adjusting to Division I soccer and college life:
“Everything was new, from soccer to school to living on my own. Everything was a new experience. It was bittersweet in some ways, because you’re always surprised. It’s a big transition, but it went over really well. My parents came up for every home game, but being in a long-distance relationship made things harder. It’s kind of nice to come in not knowing anyone. Our freshman class came in not knowing one another, but we all bonded pretty quickly. We latched onto each other.”

On the closeness of the freshman class:
“We all have different personalities, but we’ve spent so much time together that it was easy to be close to one another. We’re all going through the same things, so we’re all there for each other, especially those first few nights when we have to stay in Oliver. It’s nice to get to know people who are a lot different than you. It’s almost like an episode of the Real World – eight strangers who have to live in a nasty dorm.”

On choosing Kansas over in-state schools Oklahoma and Oklahoma State:
“I knew I wanted to get out of state. I wanted something different, because I can’t stay in one place too long. I felt like the soccer program at Kansas was stronger than Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. I really liked the coaching staff and the campus. After I came here on my visit, I just felt like this was a perfect fit. It’s far enough away from home, but close enough that I can go back if I need something desperately.”

On Coach Francis:
“I was a little surprised at how we have a family-oriented relationship with Coach Francis. We get to know his wife and his family and he invites us over for dinners and stuff. Just talking to my friends who play on other teams, that isn’t always the case with other coaches. But my best story about Coach Francis is that we always make fun of him for eating too much and one time at a basketball game we saw him chowing down on some chips and not even paying attention to game. He was zoned out. I’m probably going to get in trouble for telling that story.”

On what song she would sing if she were ever on American Idol:
“If American Idol ever came to Kansas City, I would be there to try out. If I had my choice, I would probably sing Part of Their World from The Little Mermaid or maybe something from Pocahontas. Just as long as it was a Disney song, I would do really well. Beyond that might take a little work.”