Jan. 16, 2014
Sophomore, Midfield, 5-3
Short Hills, N.J.
In 22 days, the Vanderbilt lacrosse team begins the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Kennesaw State. To get ready for the 19th season in program history, vucommodores.com will spotlight all 29 players and coaches Cathy Swezey, Susan Ellis and Julie Gardner. This segment will offer an inside look into the team on and off the field.
Today, Annie Vreeland, who wears jersey No. 22, continues our countdown. A sophomore from Short Hills, N.J., Vreeland continues a family lacrosse tradition. Her mother, Betsy, played at Vermont for two years and served as her rec coach. Her father, Garret, was a goalkeeper on the lacrosse team at Vermont.
Vreeland helped her high school, Pingry, to a state championship in 2011 and scored 208 goals in her career. Last year, as a freshman, she played in 11 games and notched three assists. The interdisciplinary studies major was also named to the SEC's First-Year Academic Honor Roll.
We sat down with her to ask a few questions about lacrosse, her family and being a student-athlete at Vanderbilt.
Why did you get into lacrosse?
I started getting into lacrosse in first grade. I played rec. My mom was the coach and she got me into it. I was really more into soccer. My idol was Mia Hamm. I wanted to play soccer my whole life. In sixth grade, Amy Appelt (a four-time All-American at Virginia from 2002-05), she was a really good lacrosse player and she came to our rec practice. She told me I should join club. I joined my club lacrosse team, Metro, and the rest is history.
So what do you enjoy about lacrosse over soccer?
I was never good at soccer at all even though I really tried hard to get good at it. Lacrosse, I understand the game more. You need a high IQ, a high field sense to be able to really understand the game. Just help from my mom, it just kind of came more naturally than soccer. I can use my hands. I never was good with my feet.
What do you like most about being at Vanderbilt and juggling the challenges of being a student-athlete?
I love being a student-athlete. There are a lot of pros. A lot of cons. But the pros definitely outweighs the cons. My team, for one, is definitely my favorite part. The whole team aspect we get along so well. I can say this with confidence that our team is closer and has more fun than any other team. I really believe that. I think that really keeps everyone involved. Of course, (coaches) Cathy, Sue and Julie are amazing. It is really just fun. It is a great balance.
Age I picked up a lacrosse stick: 8 years old
When I was a kid I tried to be like: Mia Hamm
What I need to improve on to be a better player: Confidence on attack
The thing that impresses me most about Coach Swezey: Her poise and knowledge about the sport
Favorite part about playing at Vanderbilt: Playing with my best friends every day
Favorite sport other than lacrosse: Field hockey
Favorite movie: She's the Man
Superstitions: Too superstitious to reveal my superstitions
Ultimate vacation destination: Greece
The person(s) I admire most: My parents
Biggest influence in my life: My parents
My advice to young people is: Go after everything you want