ICS Player of the Week: Hannah Wilkinson


Hannah Wilkinson has just concluded her College Soccer career as a striker for the Tennessee Vols competing in the NCAA D1 Southeastern Conference. ICS gets Wilkinson’s thoughts on her college career, international accomplishments and plans for the future:

ICS: Hi Hannah, Happy New Year and thanks for joining us.
Where did you spend Christmas this year?

Hey! No problem. I spent it in England with my family!

ICS: You’ve just completed your final season in college soccer; what will you miss most about playing for Tennessee?
I think I’ll miss the atmosphere of our home games, and being a Tennessee athlete. And obviously my teammates and my coaches.
ICS: How did you get recruited to play at Tennessee? It’s a long way from home!
I was looking at a lots of different colleges in the U.S. and I verbally committed to Maryland, and while I was on my visit the coach (Brian Pensky) told me he was moving to Tennessee, so I thought I’d check it out and I loved it!
hwilkin2ICS: You spent your entire Senior year sat out with injury, how difficult was that time?
That was definitely a challenge, and being out and injured for that long really made me appreciate the game a little more.
ICS: What are your immediate plans for you soccer career?
Should we be expecting to see you in the NWSL? 
I have registered for the NWSL Draft so I’m excited to see how that goes on January 12th, and I guess I’ll go from there!
ICS: You’ve accomplished so much already in International soccer (Wilkinson has played in two FIFA World Cups, two Olympic Games and scored 24 goals for New Zealand) , how does the style of play in International games differ from the NCAA?
I think the biggest difference is that the international game is a lot faster, but I do think NCAA play was very competitive and I felt like I was well prepared for international games.
hwilkin4.pngICS: The Olympics must have been an amazing experience! You played at London in 2012 and Rio earlier this year – what stands out most from those tournaments?

The Olympics was an amazing experience, both London and Rio. I think the highlight is just representing New Zealand as an Olympian, wearing the rings and the Fern on my chest, it is such a significant honor and I could not be more proud.

ICS: You’ve also scored in two World Cups – do you have your sights set on France 2019? Could New Zealand cause an upset?
As soon as we were knocked out of the Rio Olympics we all had our eyes set on France in 2019, so we are all definitely gearing up and getting ready for it. It’s very exciting because we are a very very good team, and people should be expecting great things from us.
ICS: As a forward, who’s the toughest defender you’ve come across in College and International soccer?
The toughest defenders in college were definitely from the University of South Carolina, they marked me right out of the game. And I’ve had some tough contests with French defenders and US defenders like Meghan Klingenberg.
ICS: You seem to be a big fan of Orange Nike Mecurial Vapors
Which cleats will you be wearing in you next match? 
I think I’ll definitely stick with my Nike Mercurial Vapors! They’re the most comfortable cleat I’ve ever worn.
ICS: Lastly, do you have any advice for overseas players aspiring to play college soccer in the USA?
I would say if you get the opportunity, go for it. It is just a once in a lifetime experience and it’s just so amazing, you meet the best people and you really do find yourself, as a player and as a person.
You can follow Hannah on Instagram here
and don’t forget to follow @InsideCollegeSoccer
Find Nike Mecurial Vapors and more here at SoccerPro:

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