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Freshman Abbey Cook of Penn women's soccer during the matchup against Yale on Sept. 30. Credit: Agustinus Porajow

As a freshman forward, Abbey Cook has begun her college career on a roll with Penn women's soccer, starting all but three games so far. The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Cook to ask her 15 questions about her transition to college soccer, role models, and favorite study spot on campus. 

1. Can you introduce yourself?

I’m Abbey Cook. I’m a freshman in the Wharton School of Business and I play center forward. 

2. What has the transition to college soccer been like for you? 

The transition to college soccer has been different than I expected it to be. I played on a really high-level club team and so I think that made the transition to the Division I level easier. But although it’s similar in level, it’s definitely harder just because you’re playing with older girls, a new team, and a new formation and style of play. 

3. What have you found most challenging about being a Division I athlete?

For me, personally, being far from home has been the hardest challenge, especially coming from playing games [during my high school career] where my parents would be at every single game. Trying to balance, like, not being homesick because I’m trying to focus on being in season has been hard. 

4. What have you enjoyed the most so far about being a part of the Penn women’s soccer team? 

I love the team. The team environment is really unlike any other team I’ve ever been on. The team’s really like a family. I can hold a conversation with anyone on the team, I’d consider anyone on the team my friend, and there’s just no cliques or drama within it. It’s really cool. 

5. Who are some of your role models?

Definitely my parents, even though neither one of them played soccer. Just because they encourage me to try my hardest at everything I do and even if the outcome, at the end of the day, isn’t something you hoped for, as long as you tried your hardest, then that’s all that matters. 

6. Who’s your favorite soccer player and why?

I would have to say my favorite soccer player, especially growing up, was Alex Morgan because we played the same position. She’s also left-footed and we play very similar styles of soccer. So, she became someone I looked up to for how I wanted to play.

7. How do you stay motivated as a team, especially during challenging times?

As a team, we’re all very determined to do well. And when I think about it, most of our games that we’ve lost have been by one goal. So, I think that keeps us pushing, like we’re right there. Eventually it’s gonna click for us.

8. Do you have any superstitions that you follow before games?  

I used to be super superstitious about my hair. Like I had to do it the same way before every game, but I’ve kind of broken out of that. Now, I have to listen to music that gets me hyped and excited to play. I also always wear my socks above my knees and I have to roll my sleeves when I play.

9. What was the feeling of scoring your first collegiate goal against Villanova like? 

It was a good feeling. [Scoring my first goal] definitely took longer than I wanted it to take. But it was a good feeling, and I think it was just a barrier that I felt I had to cross mentally. So it was just very relieving.

10. Would you rather score the game-winning goal or have the game-winning assist?

I would have to say the game-winning assist because although as a forward, scoring is technically my job, I think assists are more important than goals and honestly most of the time more impressive.

11. What are your aspirations as a soccer player, both in college and beyond?

In college, I definitely want to help lead the team to an Ivy League championship and make some [NCAA] Tournament appearances. Even if it’s not this year, that’s a goal eventually down the road. And beyond college, I want to play professionally, for a few years or long term. I definitely want to play professionally whether that’s in the U.S. or Europe.

12. What’s a piece of advice you wish you could give to a younger version of yourself? 

One piece of advice I wish I could give my younger self is to just enjoy it. I play soccer because it’s fun and it’s something I enjoy. When I look back on my club [soccer] experience, it was one of the best, most fun experiences. I would give anything to get that back, just a little bit of it. So I wish I cherished those practices with my teammates and road trips to games just a little bit more because, you look back and you miss them a lot.

13. Where is your favorite spot to eat and favorite spot to study on campus?

My favorite place to eat, I would have to say, is Houston [Market] probably. And then, my favorite place to study, I would say, is outside of Starbucks at [1920] Commons when it’s good weather or upstairs at the Starbucks on 34th Street. 

14. Do you prefer cut-offs or full socks? 

Cut-offs. I cut my socks and wear grip socks. 

15. If you could choose, would you rather wear Nike cleats or Adidas?

Nike, definitely.