The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Penn women's soccer's Laurence Gladu — an honorable mention All-Ivy selection last season — to ask 15 questions about her soccer career and her life outside the sport. Here's what the junior goalkeeper had to say.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
I am Laurence Gladu, I am on the women's soccer team at Penn, I am a goalkeeper, and a junior majoring in biology.
2. When did you start playing soccer?
I started when I was 5 years old back home in Canada. I started as a player and then as I grew older, I became a goalkeeper because I liked to dive and I didn't really like to run.
3. Do you have any particular pre-game rituals?
My team and I like to listen to really loud music in the locker room. There's a couple of songs that we listen to on repeat every game, and then I also like to do my taping and have my AirPods in and just get in the zone. And then usually for the Ivy games, the whole team signs my taping.
4. What is the best save you have made so far in your career?
I'll probably say against Cornell; I made a save on a breakaway. I've been practicing on breakaways for a while, so it was nice to finally make a good save on one of those.
5. How do you feel when you make a great save?
In the moment, I don't really think about it because the ball is usually in play so I still focus on the ball, but once play comes down, I kind of rethink about it, and obviously am proud of myself and just happy. And I always try to improve, so I'm never really satisfied.
6. What do you think has made you a very good goalkeeper?
My team, because they push me to be better, especially the other goalkeeper on the team. Every day, I go to practice, I push myself to be better, my coaches push me, my teammates push me, and I wouldn't be who I am as a player if it wasn't for them.
7. What impact has the new coach, Krissy Turner, had on your team?
It's definitely hard because everyone is different, so there's no coach similar to another. She's brought a lot of positives in this team and a very competitive mentality. Obviously, being able to go through it together as a team makes us closer, so I think the biggest thing that came out of it was being closer to everyone.
8. Do you think the team can win the Ivy title this year?
I think we can win the Ivy; we can go to the tournament and win. I don't think there's anything that stops us except ourselves.
9. What is your personal goal this year?
My biggest goal is to get first team All-Ivy, and I also would like to be the goalkeeper with most saves in the Ivy League, so that's probably my biggest goal, but mostly I'll say first team All-Ivy for sure.
10. You had a great season last year, with the highest number of saves and second in shutdowns in the Ivy League. How did you feel about your performance?
It was my first season, so it's definitely good. I was proud of myself and I was really happy about that, but I wasn't satisfied. I wanted first team All-Ivy last year but am more determined to get it this year.
11. What do you consider your best moment with Penn women's soccer?
Any moment with my team because they're like my second family and every moment with them is great.
12. Favorite thing about being a goalkeeper?
Getting to make big saves that win games and that feeling of saving a game. I don't think any other position can have that same feeling.
13. What are your hobbies?
I am from Canada, so I like to play hockey a lot, I like snowboarding, and when I am here, l like hanging out with my friends and school a little bit.
14. What is your plan for the future?
I would like to play pro, and my second option is to go to med school and be a doctor. That has always been my goal in life and I keep telling myself that every day.
15. Any advice for developing goalkeepers?
Keep working hard and never compare yourself with others because some people will be better at what they do than you are, but you'll always be better than someone in something else and comparing yourself is going to make it harder for you to get better.