Freshman adds spark off bench

first_imgIt’s rare to see a two-sport athlete be heavily recruited in the college spotlight. But freshman forward Sandy Jorgensen is not your average freshman.In her senior year of high school, Jorgensen led her team to the Minnesota state soccer championships, where her team won the state title. Jorgensen led her team in scoring and was named to the all-state and all-conference teams. Not only was she a natural at soccer, but was an all-state selection in track and field. When it came time for her to choose a school, she looked no farther than across the border. “A large part of it was for academics and the location of the school,” Jorgensen said about why she chose Wisconsin. “With soccer and track, I could do both and the soccer team seemed like a place where I could fit in. … I came here to play great soccer and that is exactly what I have seen. Everyone on this team is amazing and it’s really amazing to be able to watch them play and to try and play with them and to watch everyone’s skill level. I’m just constantly impressed by all of it.”Jorgensen is one of 12 freshmen that have helped the University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team to a 4-1-1 record and a No. 15 national ranking. Although not a starter, Jorgensen has seen significant action in all six of the Badgers’ games this season. Helping Jorgensen find her way onto the field this season is her increased emphasis on defense. In high school, Jorgensen led her team in scoring for three consecutive years, but this year the freshman has tried to give her defense a boost, in an attempt to make her a more complete player. “I kind of played forward differently this year,” Jorgensen said. “So I guess I’m learning how to play defense for the first time and that is a real change. It feels like I’m growing as a player because I never concentrated on defense in high school and now I am starting to … At first it was really difficult, but now I’m starting to get a hang of it. I feel more complete.”Not only is Jorgensen improving the quality of her position, she also is trying to keep up with Wisconsin’s finest. “A big goal would be to increase my skill level up to even close to the level of the other forwards,” she said. “They are amazing and I’d like to get near that.”Head coach Dean Durst agrees, stating that, although the changes have not been easy, Jorgensen is beginning to develop into a better soccer player, which will translate to more time on the field.”It is always good when a young player can get time on the field,” Duerst said. “That is a quick education and [Jorgenson] has been learning a lot with that time. She has made some good adjustments to the speed of play at this level.”Along with her prolific scoring edge, Jorgensen adds an element of speed to the team. As one of the faster players on the team, Jorgensen is bringing a quicker pace to the Wisconsin scoring juggernaut, as her and her teammates are able to attack the opposition more often than they did in the past. “When you look at Sandy, she can get behind teams,” Duerst said. “It is really important for any individual and freshman for them to use their strengths and when they come out you will find success. So we as a team want Sandy to continue to use her strengths, speed and her range of speed over a distance, too.”Although a newcomer to the women’s soccer team, Jorgensen is one of those special players who cares more about helping her teammates improve than developing her personal stats. Being friendly and modest, her love of soccer has already brought her love and respect from her teammates.”It is really fun to play with her. Amy Vermeulen and I like the play to our feet a lot and Sandy is one of those players you could kick the ball behind and she could run onto it and always get the ball,” freshman forward Taylor Walsh said. “Sandy is all around a really nice girl [who] works hard and is a really dangerous player up top because of her speed.”last_img