St. Mary’s sophomore women’s soccer defender Lauren Hall is a biology major who has a love for animals, visiting zoos, and relaxing by the water on the St. Mary’s campus. Hall and the Seahawks host CAC foe Marymount on Saturday. INTRODUCING … Lauren Hall.
Briefly, what is your background in the sport you play?
I started playing soccer when I was four years old. From there, I played on various travel and club teams including White Marsh, Baltimore Bays, Greater Baltimore, and most recently, Pipeline. I played one year of junior varsity and three years of varsity soccer at Perry Hall High School.
What is your major in college, and what is the most important thing you learned in that discipline?
I am majoring in biology and plan to go onto graduate school for veterinarian medicine. One of the most important things that I have learned as a biology major is to hold yourself accountable. In this discipline, it’s key to prepare ahead of time for classes and to provide multiple days of studying to prepare for tests.
What is your favorite spot on campus?
I enjoy sitting on the benches underneath the wooden canapé that over looks the water behind the May Russell Alumni Lodge. I usually sit there to do homework. It’s a quiet and somewhat secluded place which makes it a great place to study or relax in a peaceful environment. There have also been times where students play their guitars making the time spent there more enjoyable.
Outside of your home and campus, where is your favorite place visit?
I love going to the zoo either with friends or family to see the various animals that come from so many areas of the world. Each animal has a unique personality and different behaviors. It is intriguing to watch the animals enjoy the various times of day, whether they are soaking in the sun, resting in the shade, playing with each other, investigating their surroundings or enjoying a meal. My love and fascination for animals is the reason the zoo is my favorite day trip.
Other than your team, what organization (s) do you participate in (on campus or off campus)?
This past summer, I was part of the soccer club, The Baltimore Kings, which participated in the U25 EDP league. I also worked at Fork Veterinarian Hospital. I did a variety of jobs at Fork Vet including helping to maintain kennels in the back, exercising the dogs, assisting in the examination room and managing the front desk.
Briefly describe the most memorable experience during your collegiate athletic career.
One of my favorite memories from my collegiate career so far was made on the sideline during one of our home games. The ball was played out of bounds and the ref called the throw-in for the other team. I shouted “no, there was a tip.” From that point on, a few of the players and I had a running joke of “Lauren heard a tip.” This is one of my favorite memories because it exemplifies that whether you are one of the starting 11 players or a sub, everyone on the St. Mary’s women soccer team loves the game and is completely committed to the team. Each player is as supported and included as any other.
Other than your family members, who was the most influential person in your life?
My high school soccer coach, Matt Smoot, has been a very influential person in my life. Outside of being a great coach that instilled the importance of hard work and the right mindset, he inspired me off the field. Specifically, when I tore my ACL my junior year of high school, he always made sure to know how I was feeling and how I was healing. During my recovery period, he told me to look at the situation as “a blessing in disguise.” It provided the insight to work on my mental strength as well as my physical strength. I believe I came back more focused and determined than ever before. This phrase has stuck with me and is prevalent all throughout life when I am faced with challenges.
What is the most important societal issue facing college students?
College is an extremely expensive institution to attend. Many families struggle with paying for college and most students leave college with multiple student loans. I believe that many students are not aware of the amount of scholarship opportunities available besides the scholarships provided by the institution they are attending. Schools, churches, clubs, and many other organizations offer scholarships to their members. These missed opportunities cause many students to not be able to attend their first choice college because of the expense while many other students are forced to work multiple jobs taking away from their college experience.
If you could change any one item in the world (in your personal life, school, community, amateur or professional sports, national/international issue, etc.), what would it be, why, and how would you do it?
I would change the way our society treats animals. Animals are physically and mentally tortured by their owners because they are posed as an easy target. Animal shelters are incredibly overcrowded. The animals placed in these shelters live in small cages on hard concrete and are constantly surrounded by other animals. Most of the animals in these shelters face death because there simply is not enough room. I strongly encourage and hope for the fair treatment of and love for all animals.
What is your favorite form of entertainment?
I love to paint and draw. It gives me an opportunity to relax while still being able to express myself. Art has also provided an opportunity for my grandmother and I to spend more time together and connect over a shared passion. We took oil painting classes together on several occasions. My grandmother has always encouraged me to continue painting.
If you could give one piece of advice to elementary school children, what would that advice be?
I would tell the elementary school kids not to be shy. As a young kid, I was very shy and afraid of meeting new people. This is the time in your life where you don’t have a million responsibilities to worry about, so take the time to enjoy being around other kids your age. Have fun. You will be growing and developing through school with many of these friends. The best friendship can develop all the way back from elementary school.
Outside of the CAC, who or what is your favorite sports person or team?
My favorite team is the U.S. Women’s National Team. They always play with such great heart and determination. Each member of the team wants to accomplish more and more each season. Winning the World Cup was not enough for them. They set out heading into the Olympics to be the first team in history to consecutively win the World Cup and the Olympics. The women also speak for more than just the game of soccer. The women are in the process of trying to equalize the pay between men and women’s soccer to help attain gender equality throughout the world. The team is beyond inspirational.
Name three (3) people, real or fictional, living or dead, that you'd like to have dinner with?
One person I would invite to dinner would be Jennifer Aniston. She is my all-around favorite actress. I first became a fan while watching all 10 seasons of “Friends.” Jennifer Aniston stands out to me as an actress because throughout her career, she has played a variety of different roles. She has the ability to develop into a wide variety of characters. Jennifer Aniston has been very successful in the movie business.
I would also invite Carly Lloyd from the USWNT. Lloyd is a phenomenal and accomplished soccer player. I am interested to know what drove her to become so determined as a young soccer player to devote her life to the sport. I would ask her how it felt to win the golden ball and all-around player awards at the 2015 World Cup. Lloyd is an inspiration to me and an opportunity to talk about a sport we both love would be a once in a life time opportunity.
The last person I would invite would be Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Pride and Prejudice talked about the issues regarding first impressions. Elizabeth felt fault with herself for judging Mr. Darcy by his appearance and the first impression that he provided, but eventually realized her mistake and held herself accountable. She grew to see the good in Mr. Darcy and eventually fell in love with him. It’s hard not to make mistakes and easy to fall into the trap of “judging a book by its cover,” but it is more important to learn from the mistake and adjust your attitude and actions.