Want to keep up with everything Cornell sports? Sign up for our biweekly sports email newsletter and stay up-to-date with the Red. Click here!
Staff writer Mary Barger sat down with Cornell women’s soccer defender and captain Whitney Farber and talked about everything from getting to lead the team her senior year to her favorite place to grab a bite on campus.
1. What’s the best part about being on the women’s soccer team?
Getting to do something you love with your best friends. Every day, you’re going out there on the field, and even if you’re having a bad day, you’re working with the people who are your best friends. If you have their back, they have yours, no matter what, and you know that. That’s a really awesome bond that you get from playing a college sport that you don’t necessarily get in a different environment. On the field, it’s like you’re playing for each other, and that’s really how it is.
2. Why did you choose Cornell?
God, it feels like a long time ago now. I came to the camp at Cornell [on] April 21 of my [high school] junior year, I remember it so clearly. It was snowing, and I was like, “Why would I ever come here? It’s snowing, and it’s the end of April.” But I went on a tour, and just kind of fell in love with the campus. I loved the opportunities, that there are seven different colleges, that you could take any class you could possibly want to take here. That was a huge draw for me because I was looking at a lot of smaller schools, some other Ivies, and some NESCAC schools. Cornell just has so many options to study and different people to meet, which was really cool. I loved that. The weather hasn’t been — well, it’s been bad, but not that bad, so it’s okay.
3. After sustaining some injuries the last couple years, how does it feel to be back and leading the team?
The two injuries that I’ve had here have been pretty major and will continue to impact me, but it’s really nice to feel like I can go on the field and be the player that I used to be. It was a challenge, obviously, those few years just sitting out and going through two major surgeries, so that makes a big difference. But it’s great to be back, be leading the team, and having been in those circumstances I can really help talk to the girls who are going through similar things. It really helps in connecting and being a leader on the team, too. I’m excited to have a — hopefully — injury-free season.
4. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
As a younger player, I used to be super superstitious. Everything had to be perfect, and I had to do the exact same thing. After I got injured I kind of forgot about some of them, but there are some newer ones that have formed. Every time I go on the field, I jump three times, like, for no reason, but I always do it, and it has to be three times. I do a specific warm up before I step on the field, all the time, and I have lucky spandex that I always wear, but, you know, that’s to be expected.
5. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
My best friends know this, but most people don’t because it doesn’t really make that much sense. I am, like, super clumsy. I am unbelievably clumsy. I trip over my own feet walking all the time. It’s really a challenge, it really is. People think it’s insane because it’s like, ‘You play soccer in college, how are you that uncoordinated and clumsy?’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know.’
6. What is your favorite meal on campus?
Well, no dining halls. Definitely not the dining halls.
So not Okenshields?
I’ve been to Okenshields once in my time here and won’t ever go back. I would say, well, Trill salads used to be great, but now the self-serve thing is just not an option. Mac’s sandwiches are really good, that’s a good one, and then Trill breakfast burritos — also great. Those are my two.
7. Do you have a favorite song or artist?
I don’t love country music, but I love Zac Brown Band. Specifically, ‘Knee Deep,’ because I listen to it a lot during finals and I’m like, ‘I wish I was on the beach doing that instead of studying for finals.’ But yeah, that would probably be it. My friends would say that about me, too. I can listen to that song on repeat for a while — it’s a problem.
8. What advice would you give to the freshmen on your team?
If things don’t go your way, you can’t get down. Everybody encounters adversity in their career, and I think the most important part of being successful and getting through that is just staying positive. You have these teammates who are here for you, it’s like a family, and everyone’s been through something similar. No matter what, you have someone you can relate to, so don’t be afraid to ask upperclassmen, and use the experiences that they’ve learned from to help you, and adapt that to you own situation.
9. How do you see soccer impacting your life after college?
I think I have gained so many valuable leadership experiences, and just all the cliché stuff that everyone says you get from college sports on your resume. But it’s really true. There is something to be said about being a college athlete. There’s a mindset and a way of life, and I think just the will to fight through anything, fight through adversity. And leading different groups of people is something I will take with me, and the experiences I’ve had here — there’s nothing like going out on game-day and playing against an Ivy. It’s really fun. Those are memories that are important to me, and things that I’ll want to share with the people who are important to me in my life.
10. What is your favorite memory from your time at Cornell?
Well, soccer-wise, it was probably last year when we tied Harvard. It wasn’t at Cornell, but it was a really big game for us. Harvard won the Ivy League, and we’d had a rough game the game before, so going to Harvard and tying them on their home field was really awesome. It went into double overtime. It was just one of those games that remind you of why you play soccer, you know, why you still do this.