September 8, 2005

10 Questions With Shannon Fraser

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To celebrate scoring two goals in the opening weekend of the 2005 women’s soccer season, senior forward Shannon Fraser sat down with Sun Senior Writer Per Ostman.

1. So, what does scoring feel like?
Well, I don’t do it very often, but when it happens it’s a lot of fun. It feels good.
I’ll bet it does.
That’s a good question.
It was an even better answer.
Keep going.
Oh, don’t worry.

2. Are you the fastest female non-track athlete on campus?
Umm, definitely not. I’m not even the fastest on my own team! For some reason, people think that I’m really fast. I don’t know where it came from.
There’s this nasty rumor going around that you’re incredibly fast.
I know, but I honestly don’t know where it came from. I think that when I run, it must just look like I’m running fast.
Well, that’s all that matters.
Yeah, I think I’m slow.

3. You hail from just upstate of Ithaca, in Hamilton. I need a definitive answer here: why is Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, but Colgate University is in Hamilton, NY?
That’s one of the questions of the century. It’s probaby to confuse everyone.
Well, congratulations. It worked.
I don’t know. They’re only like 25 minutes apart. Actually, my Dad grew up in Clinton and then he coached at Colgate.
So, this is all his fault, then?
Do you know why you drive in a parkway, but park in a driveway?
Okay, just checking.

4. When you were in high school in one of those crazy towns, you actually captained the boy’s soccer team. What was that like?
It was a pretty great experience.
“Great,” huh?
Yeah, it was a lot of fun.
And how was it fun?
Well, that’s a hard question.
You’re telling me.
It was just so much different than any other team I’ve been on. It’s the exact opposite of a women’s team. It wasn’t just the actual game of soccer, which was faster and more physical – the team dynamics are completely different. The boys always came to play soccer, and only soccer. Every team has its issues, and we did too, but none of that ever made a difference on the field. It was always just about the game.
Did this make you more popular, or were you villified?
Well, I lost a few friends on the girl’s team.
I can’t imagine why.
My high school was really small, and the level of soccer on the girl’s team wasn’t going to get me where I wanted to go.
Okay, now I can imagine why.
Yeah, and I’m not saying that they were wrong. But playing with the boys was a great challenge, and I needed that.
I’m sure that the boy’s locker room was far cleaner and smelled much better than the girl’s did, right?
Well, I’m not going to say that I wasn’t ever in the guy’s locker room, but I did have my own. It helped to minimize the awkwardness to a certain extent. But there’s still always the awkward moment when the tampon falls out of your backpack on the bus.
Did this actually happen? Please, go on.
It just fell out of my backpack and I didn’t realize it. All the boys were very uncomfortable about it.
See, we don’t understand these kinds of things. They scare us.
[Laughing] Yeah, high technology, right?
If you were to give me one right now, I’d probably put out my eye. I mean, there’s like a little tail, and it’s got a thing, and-it’s like a little plastic shotgun.
Yeah, it’s weird.
I don’t want to think about this anymore. Let’s move on.

5. Do you enjoy the fact that even at 5’7″, you’re taller than 90% of the male population at Cornell?
No, it’s kind of a problem. I’ve been the team giant for a couple of years now. Actually, I’m in danger of losing my status; we have a lot of tall freshmen this year.
So, you just beat them down with your club, then?
Yeah, that’s what happens.
I guess you can’t really wear heels very often.
Yeah, I can’t walk in them. They make me fall down.

6. Hey, our men’s national soccer team just beat Mexico to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Are you psyched?
I can’t even wait.
Are you being serious?
Yeah, I think it’s great. I’m ashamed though, because I don’t watch a lot of soccer.
Well, you’re not alone there.
Yeah, but it’s always good when we win.
Over the past few years, it’s seemed like the women’s national team, with marketable stars like Mia Hamm and six years of unbridled international success, has recieved far more publicity than the men’s. Why then is the MLS still in business (more or less) but the WUSA folded like an accordion?
I would have expected it to do better. I think that the majority of people in the U.S. just don’t enjoy watching soccer as much as other sports.
What can women’s soccer do to become more popular?
I think that it’s already one of the most popular sports in America, as far as the number of girls that are playing right now, and learning how to play. I think right now it’s more important that lots of girls are playing soccer, as opposed to the sport being popular on TV.

7. I’d like an honest, no-holds-barred opinion of Bend It Like Beckham.
To quote our coach: “The soccer was terrible in that movie.”
Thanks. I think that answer just redefined “no-holds-barred.” Could you crush Keira Knightly physically?
Well, yeah – she’s like a stick figure. I would hope so.

8. In its infinite wisdom, Cornell kicked your team off its usual practice field behind Bartels Hall to make room for-what is it? A bio-tech building? How are you adjusting to your new practice field (which is way the hell out by the equestrian facility)? Was any of this fair?
I can’t say that I’m happy about it. I mean, I understand that Cornell puts academics first, but at the same time, this sucks. But, the new fields are really nice. We can’t really complain about them except for their distance from campus. The team has adjusted well, but it’s just really inconvenient.
That bio-tech building had better cure cancer or something, huh?
Oh yeah.

9. Last week, you guys were “the Hottest Women’s Team at Cornell” for about five seconds, and then Ryan Rourke threw you under the bus in favor of field hockey. Care to comment?
Well, the men’s basketball team is definitely not the hottest men’s team. If they don’t like us, it’s their loss.
Could your team take the field hockey girls in a fight? And can I sell tickets?
I’d have to say that we’d win. We’re definitely bigger.
Size does matter. But they have sticks.
Yeah, but we have balls.
You’re single-handedly going to win me the Pulitzer, I’m telling you. Okay, here’s your chance: What’s the hottest men’s team at Cornell?
See, I asked the other girls about this, and we don’t want to make any enemies.
It’s not about making enemies, it’s about truth. I’m searching for truth. Besides, you just ripped apart basketball and field hockey.
Okay, you know what? We’re the hottest team, male or female. Women’s soccer.
That’s quite a statement. I have no choice but to make sure that it’s published.
Well, we are. Come to our games and find out.

10. What’s on your current iPod playlist?
I don’t have an iPod.
Wow, they still make people like you? Okay, how about CDs? AM radio? 8-Track?
Actually, there’s some MC Hammer on our warmup tape. 2 Legit to Quit. And House of Pain.
I’m speechless. I am without speech.
No, but I didn’t make the whole tape! People tell me that I’m a child of the ’60s.
Well, Hammer was more like ’92-’93.
No, like Simon and Garfunkel. And my Mom really liked Bruce Springsteen, so I grew up with The Boss.
So, does this mean that you were “born to run?”
Yeah, apparently.

10 Questions With Per Ostman will appear weekly throughout the semester, or until he gets fi
red. Questions, comments, suggestions for future interview victims, and threats can be sent to

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