Sports Spotlight: Danielle Wessler ’12

Steve Urban


Sport: Women’s Soccer

Hometown: Port Republic, NJ

Major: Undecided

Why Danielle? She led a strong defensive effort by the Raiders last weekend in defeating Lehigh and Lafayette to put themselves in first place heading into the last Patriot League game of the season.

1. After a 4-4-0 start, the team has gone on a nine game unbeaten streak, only surrendering more than one goal once during the streak. What factors have contributed to having consistently strong defensive showings, in particular holding Lafayette to a single shot on goal in your game last Friday?

That is an interesting question because we have been recognized more for our offensive luster this year. I think to compensate for that, we have had to work harder and focus more in training on our defense. On top of that, temporarily losing fellow senior co-captain Maddie Malone at right back hasn’t been easy. However, the games this past weekend were great confidence boosters and we are extremely pleased with our defensive effort, not only as a backline, but also as a team.

2. The team had two big wins over the weekend against Lafayette and Lehigh, nearly shutting out both until surrendering a late goal against Lehigh. Yet the pace of play was different for both. Do you like where the team is heading into your last game of Patriot League play?

I’m incredibly pleased with the momentum we have going into this final weekend of Patriot League play. Everyone is amped and ready to go, especially with so much on the line. We have a wonderful opportunity in front of us to go out, win and finish as Patriot League regular season champs.

3. Was the team playing with an extra sense of urgency given the magnitude of these games?

Yes, I think there was a bit more urgency placed on the games this past weekend considering we were playing an undefeated, first place team in Lafayette. However, it was nice to be on our home field, play­ing our own game and our own style. Though we always have things to work on, I think we handled the pressure really well.

4. This Saturday is the last game of the season, Senior Day, Parents Weekend – and the right to host the Patriot League tournament is on the line. What are you personally and the team going to have to do to balance all these extra factors going into the game?

I think we are going to have to take all of these factors into account, use them as incentive and put it all out there on the field. When we are focused and determined at home under the lights, it takes a lot to bring us down. Personally, I can’t wait to play for my parents and the team this last game of the season.

5. Congratulations on earning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week! Is it something you strive to achieve or more of a by-product of hard work paying off?

Thank you. I would say it’s definitely a by-product of hard work and a great team who makes it possible to earn this type of recognition. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.