An Olympic Interview with Lauren Sesselmann
By: Jon Pratt
Indy Sports Crew correspondent Jon Pratt (all the way from beautiful Ft. Smith, AR) had a chance to catch up with Canadian Olympian Lauren Sesselmann. Sesselmann is a member of the Canadian Women’s Soccer team that won the bronze medal at the London games. Her tie to Indiana is that she played at Purdue. Lauren finished her Boiler career as their leader in points and assists as well as being a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection.
Jon Pratt: How was your Olympic experience in London and where does it rank amongst your soccer achievements?
Lauren Sesselmann: London was incredible, the venues were exceptional, and the staff was awesome. We had the best fans, and even won over the Great Britain fans. I would have to say winning the bronze medal has been my biggest accomplishment thus far. To play for such a great coaching staff and to play with such talented teammates is a dream come true. Everything I’ve worked so hard for my whole life has made all the sacrifices worth it. To hold that medal in my hands is so surreal.
JP: With Canada being ranked 7th worldwide and placed in a difficult group with Japan and Sweden, what were the teams expectations going into London?
LS: Not too many people believed we would make it out of our group, but we always did. We have been working so hard, we had nothing to lose. We had the toughest group, but we also fought hard and never gave up. It helps that our coaching staff never doubted us and stuck with us pushing us every step of the way. We really proved ourselves this tournament.
JP: After finishing 1-1-1 in Group Play your team was still able to advance to the Quarterfinals. Were any adjustments made going forward because Canada arguably played as good as any team the remainder of the games?
LS: We kept a consistent game plan. No matter what team we drew, we were ready for them. Our technical staff was extremely prepared. We had a few injuries and had some people step up tremendously for us, one being Jonelle Filigno. Her goal against Great Britain had to be one of the best of the tournament and she continued being a playmaker for the rest of the games.
JP: After an emotional loss to the USA in the Semifinals, a game in which many believe was the result to a controversial call, how was your team able to bounce back so quickly to win the bronze medal vs. a talented French team?
LS: After the USA game we were emotionally gutted. We were so close to that gold medal match, and to have been winning the whole game and lose in the final seconds of overtime was heart-wrenching. We gave it all we could and didn’t come out on top, but to still have the opportunity to win a medal was amazing. We wanted it so bad, and to come out against a very talented French team victorious, I can’t even put into words how it felt.
JP: Where is the medal right now?
LS: It has been traveling the world with me since the Olympics. I am so proud of it, I want to show everyone!! At some point I will put it in my trophy case at home!
JP: Who were the most famous celebrities or athletes you met while in London and who didn’t you meet that you wanted to?
LS: We didn’t get the opportunity to meet too many people because we were constantly traveling to our venues all around London. We only spent a few days in Olympic Village so we didn’t get to interact as much. I did get to meet some male soccer players, my favorite being Neymar, and a bunch of Canadian athletes. We did say hi to Kevin Durant which was awesome, since I’m a huge basketball fan!
JP: Since the WPS folded for this season, do you have plans to play for a club team elsewhere? Do you see the WPS forming once again due to the success that women’s soccer has experienced in North America this year?
LS: It is unfortunate that there is no league for us to play in currently after such an incredible showing of women’s soccer in the Olympics. We have captured the world, and have become even bigger role models. I hope that some type of league forms soon for this upcoming season and for the future soccer stars!
JP: After winning the bronze medal in this year’s Olympics, do you believe there will be high expectations in 2015 as the World Cup will be played on Canadian soil?
LS: I definitely think the expectations will be high, not only with the fans, but with ourselves. Having the taste of a medal makes us want to win gold even more. To have the World Cup in Canada is great for our team and for our country. Our fans have been sensational and I hope to be playing in front of them in 2015.