Prior to the Dores' first exhibition against Furman at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, get to know graduate student transfer Stephanie Amack!
As a newcomer, what do you most look forward to about being a student-athlete at Vanderbilt?
I look forward to the close-knit community at Vanderbilt. Already, I've experienced an awesome camaraderie in my lab, the girls on the team, and other student-athletes I've met so far. I've felt right at home.
What was it like being re-recruited as a graduate student? Was there anything that changed?
It was fun! I was much more independent in the recruitment process in comparison to the adventure as a high school freshman/sophomore. After being in college soccer for four years, I felt that I knew what to look for in my next experience and it made the recruitment process a blast, quite honestly.
What are some of your goals you'd like to achieve in your final season?
My goals are some goals! I love to attack and contribute to the offense, and I'm looking forward to instigating some celebrations this season. Mainly, given my experience, I want to contribute to the team wherever the need is, and bring a high energy and love for what I do both on and off the field for my teammates. I want to bring the fun on the grind days.
You started playing soccer at the age of five and it has been a part of your life for so many years. What's been your favorite memory as a player?
Probably my first pair of bright red cleats I had as a five-year-old. I think about those and my blossoming love for soccer as a little girl a lot these days. But my favorite field memory is being on the winning U-20 World Cup team. We won in Japan in 2012, and I know that experience and the feeling we had as a team will stick with me forever.
How many World Cups have you played in, and what international experience has been your favorite?
I've played in two World Cups: one we won in 2012 and another in 2014 held in Canada, when we were knocked out by North Korea in penalty kicks. It's tough to decide which was my favorite. Japan was an amazing international experience for me because I had never experienced Asian culture. We explored some breathtaking castles and paid our respects to where the tsunami hit in 2011, as well as the Hiroshima memorial. It was special to be able to reflect and pray for those affected across the world, especially compared to where I live in comfort and safety.
Watching you for the first time this year, what will Vanderbilt fans see and how would they describe you in one sentence?
I'm calm and smart on the ball.
What qualities do you hope to bring from Stanford?
I hope to bring good vision and help control the pace of the game. I admire the way we played with purpose at Stanford, analyzing other teams for weak spots as the attack develops. The last time I played center-mid was my freshman year, but I learned a lot. Bouncing around positions from the back line and outside midfield has given me insight to what my teammates might want and how I can serve them best from the middle of the field.
When you aren't on the pitch, what do you enjoy doing for fun?
I love hiking! So far, I've already explored Percy Warner and Radnor Lake with my two free weekends. Back home, Yosemite was my favorite pastime and I look forward to finding some good camping/ backpacking spots in Tennessee. I also love country music so I'm in heaven in Nashville; there is live music pouring out of every window in this city. Some days, I roll out of bed and take my coffee to the backyard and am already being serenaded with music from my neighbors!
You grew up on a farm. Do you know the names of all the animals on your family ranch?
Not a chance! We have horses rotating through daily, but there are the regulars like Erin and TT I can always count on. We are down to only two dogs, Truman and Bella, and two barn cats, Sushi and Sake, that come around intermittently. We have downsized our group of animals a lot, but there was a time we had around 15 horses, five dogs, two cats, chickens, pigs and my pet cow. My favorite days were spent outside helping maintain the crew.
Which of your new Vanderbilt teammates have you spent the most time with this summer? Can you give us a fun fact about them?
I've gotten to spend some quality time with the six seniors who have stayed here over the summer, and we miss Blue (Paola Ellis ) and Myra Konte. They are quickly becoming the lights of my day. Blue's favorite holiday is Earth Day, which is an obvious choice. She cracks me up. One fun fact about Simone Charley is she is incredibly well-spoken and I'm sure she'd be honored to take all the post-game interviews ;). She has become an awesome training partner for me this summer, and not to mention is one of the most compassionate people I've met. I look forward to our dynamic duo this fall!
What do you look forward to most about preseason?
I am ecstatic for preseason! The down time in preseason playing cards and hanging out with everyone is my favorite part. We just barbequed and played Exploding Kittens last night, and I expect some more awesome games this week. I'll do my best to bring Settlers of Catan and maybe some Pinochle to the truly patient and devoted card-players on the team.