Somers rising senior Claire Mensi is the starting center back on the varsity girls soccer team.
How old were you when you started playing soccer and how did you get started?
I first started playing soccer when I was 3 years old. I was coached by my dad, and I fell in love with the game ever since.
What did you learn the most about last season's loss in the section finals?
Sitting on the sideline due to a broken foot for the majority of the season, the thing I learned most from losing the section finals was to not think lightly of your competition just because you’ve beaten them once before. It was tough to watch my teammates that game, thinking I couldn’t do anything to help.
What has been your best memory while on the soccer team?
My best memory from being on this team has definitely been winning a section championship my sophomore year.
With the season coming up, how do you look to lead the team?
This season I look to lead this team by being both a person and a player. I want to show them how to be a team player with high expectations for the season, but also to be a person that these girls want to step on the field with. Every girl is vital to our success.
What accomplishments have you been most proud of during your time with the girls soccer team?
The soccer program at this school has always had a high reputation, and I think one of the toughest things this team has had to deal with is coming back from defeat mentally. I am proud of how this team has come back from losses, and our mentality now is strong as a whole.
What are the team's goals and what are some of your personal goals for this season?
I think a team goal we have is to take every game seriously, regardless of our results last year. A personal goal of mine is to try and help my team in every which way I can, defensively and offensively. I want to make an impact this year.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?
My favorite pregame activity is our warm up, because everyone is focused on what we want to accomplish during the game. There’s no better feeling than stepping out onto the field with these girls.
Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?
My biggest role model over the years has been Mike Saraceno, my first travel soccer coach. He gave me the mentality that it’s OK to be competitive and to get frustrated, as long as in the end, you’re having fun.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I listen to Disney music before games.
Do you plan on continuing to play soccer in college? If yes, have you committed yet, where are you going and why did you select that school?
I am committed to play D-1 soccer at Bucknell University and it was the best decision of my life. Not only do they have an incredible coaching staff and Patriot League championship program, but the small student population and strong academics made my decision easy.
Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?
I haven’t made up my mind yet, but I am leaning towards either education or marketing and design.
Who are your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
I aspire to be like Julie Ertz, a center back for the U.S. Women's National Team.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
My music before games changes every time, but I listen to whatever gets me in the mood.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would want to read people’s minds, because I think it would be cool to know what other people are thinking.
If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?
I would go to Africa, because I’ve always wanted to go on a real-life safari.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
My favorite thing to eat before a game is my wrap from Cardillo's Super Deli.
Best place to eat in Somers and why?
My house, because according to my friends, my house is always the place to get the best snacks.
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?
Instagram, because there is more of a variety of pictures.
For a young athlete growing up in Somers, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the soccer program and why should they go out for the team?
Being a part of this program has forever changed me. It’s definitely not easy, and you’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices, but if in the end you reach your dream, I promise it’ll be worth it after all of your hard work.