Inspired by watching her older sister, Mackenzie, play soccer from the sidelines, Lauren Hansen couldn’t wait to get her chance to get out on the pitch.
“I started playing soccer when I was around four years old,” says Hansen. “I would always go to her (Mackenzie’s) games, and it made me want to play as well.”
The four-year varsity player for Rosary Academy plays center back for the Royals, a defensive position she enjoys for the challenge.
“It’s competitive,” says Hansen, “and I like challenging myself by going against the best players in the county.”
As a senior, Hansen’s final year representing Rosary brings mixed emotions, as the friendships and memories she’s created over her four years as a Royal remain close to her heart.
“My favorite part about playing soccer is all the friendships I’ve made over the years, and also the constant activity going on on the field,” says Hansen. “Our team is very close, so it’s probably going to be very hard to leave them.”
Leading her teammates as captain this season is a role the 17-year-old considers both a responsibility and a privilege.
“When I was asked to be a captain, it was a very big honor for me,” says Hansen. “My style is I’m not one to get up in their [faces]…I’d rather lead by example and be more of a role model.”
Rosary’s head soccer coach, Sean Melendez, feels Hansen embodies what it means to be part of the Royals soccer program.
“Being a member of Rosary Soccer is more than just soccer,” says Melendez. “Our girls are expected to excel in the classroom, give back to the community, be a great representation of Rosary and also compete with class in the most competitive league in the state. Lauren does all of that to the fullest. She leads by example with class and respect. Her teammates love her and would do anything for her.”
Hansen has a broad reach in serving both her campus and community. She’s a member of Rosary’s ASB as the Athletic Chair, as well as part of both Campus Ministry and Peer Assisted Leadership. She’s also works with local philanthropies through the Assisteens of Orange.
The Villa Park resident is looking to stay local for her college years and is undecided on a career path as of yet. But Hansen remains inspired by Mackenzie, as some of her best soccer memories were during the two seasons she played alongside her as a Royal.
“One of my biggest role models would be my big sister,” says Hansen. “By playing with her, she was my role model on and off the field.”
Hansen is also grateful for the support and guidance she’s received from her parents and coaches.
“They support me in whatever I do,” says Hansen, “and they know what I’m capable of and push me to my full capabilities.”