Getting to know the RSL Women: Annie Hawkins

March 12th, 2015 | by Shawn Blymiller
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Annie Hawkins, the captain of RSL Women, has played with and against some of the biggest names in women’s soccer. (Courtesy photo: RSL Women)

I had the privilege of getting to know Real Salt Lake women’s captain Annie Hawkins a little better through this interview. Annie has a decorated resume. She has experience in the U.S. Women’s National Team player pool, and she played professionally in Sweden’s Damallsvenskan League for QBIK. During a standout college career at Gonzaga, Hawkins finished second in program history in goals, assists, points, and shots. She was a first team All-West Coast Conference selection in 2003 and 2004.

Hawkins is a Salt Lake City native and prepped at Judge Memorial Catholic High School. She was a national honor society member with a cumulative GPA. of 3.76. She grew up playing with the Utah Futbol Club.

I sat down with Annie as part of the latest segment of Getting to Know the RSL Women.

@ShawnBlymiller: What is your first memory of playing soccer?

Annie Hawkins: In Cincinnati, Ohio, my sister and I were 4 or 5; we had to play on a boys team. It was pretty fun.

SB: Why were you in Cincinnati?

AH: For my dad’s job. He was a children’s heart surgeon, so we moved around a lot and lived in a couple of different places.

SB: So when did you come to Utah?

AH: We were actually born here, and then we came back in between each place that we lived. We lived in Utah, San Francisco, Utah, Cincinnati, and then back in Utah. We ended up here (for the final time, starting) in 3rd grade.

SB: Tell us about your greatest soccer victory to date.

AH: That is tough. I think the most memorable one was when I played for the U.S. National B team and we won in Mexico. We played against the U-19 Mexican National Team, and we ended up winning 2-1. It was an amazing experience all around. It was crazy because the whole trip we had police escorts and mariachi bands would greet us when we got off the bus. It was such a cool trip.

SB: Tell us about the greatest goal you have ever scored.

AH: The goal that comes to mind is actually a goal I scored playing in the WPSL. It was to clinch a spot in the Final Four. I remember chest trapping it and then turning and volleying it out of the air to the upper 90 to win the game. One of those goals, you know? When you don’t even remember how you did it. [Editor’s note: This goal, scored in a 2012  match, gave RSL Women first place in the Big Sky Division. RSL Women ended up making it to the Semifinals of the WPSL national tournament)

SB: Who is your favorite teammate?

AH: My twin sister, for sure. She is so awesome. She always made me better in every way.

SB: Who is the best player you have ever played against?

AH: Kristine Lilly, probably. I played pro soccer in Sweden and she was on a top team in our league, KIF Örebro DFF. She played for Pia Sundhage (former coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team), who was coaching there at the time. Lilly was still so good. Marta played there too and she was breaking ankles all of the time.

SB: She still does that.

AH: Oh my gosh; she is so good.

SB: Who did you look up when you were growing up?

AH: I followed Manchester United, so Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. Also, Thierry Henry — a little bit.

SB: Thierry Henry follower, but a Man U fan?

AH: (laughs) It doesn’t make sense — but he was so fast and I wanted to be as fast as him.

SB: What is your greatest memory of playing with RSL Women?

AH: Probably when we went to the Final Four. We had the best team unity and we played for each other more than we ever had before. It ended up helping us succeed on the field. I think this is one of the reasons why we have the motto “Dedication to Each Other.” That moment is kind of where we sealed it. If you play for each other, you are going to end up winning more often than not.

SB: So tell us more about that mantra “Dedication to Each Other.”

AH: We thought of it a couple of years ago. Erin Rodgers, who was captain with me, came up with a great design, and we print it on all our gear to remind us of our bigger goal. We are like a big family. We love each other. We want to make each other better. There are definitely people on the team that have made me a better player, and a better person. We try to live that every time we are on the field, and every time we are off the field, too.

SB: Time to get a little personal: Who is your favorite musical artist?

AH: Lauryn Hill … or Talib Kweli.

SB: What is your dream car?

AH: I don’t know. I have a LandRover and I love it.

SB: In which Olympic sport, other than soccer, could you win a gold medal?

AH: Probably Basketball. I played through high school.

SB: How do you rate your dancing abilities?

AH: I don’t even know if I have danced enough to know. Probably 0. (laughs)

SB: What were your best and worst subjects in school?

AH: “Best” is probably art or science. Worst was math or history.

SB: Have you ever had a nickname?

AH: Annie is kind of a nickname. My real name is Anne.

SB: Tell us something we don’t know about you.

AH: Most people don’t know that I am an identical twin.

SB: Why do you think it is important for people to follow Real Salt Lake Women?

AH: I think it is proof for young girls that you can live your dream. Growing up I didn’t really have that. I mean, I kind of did while watching Mia Hamm. But it was never someone in your city, in your state, that you could maybe run in to at the grocery store, or see them actually play a game live. I think that is so important for the girls to actually see — when you have a real life mentor or role model that you can watch, you believe that you can do it too.

SB: It is pretty significant that you played on the same field as Marta and Kristine Lilly.

AH: (blushing) I am just blessed.

Annie was passionate that you can live your dream and play the sport you love. You’ll be able to find the full RSL Women’s schedule on Salt City FC as soon as it is available (coming soon).

*Editor’s Note: Kristine Lilly was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame on Feb. 14, 2015. Her career included 352 caps for the national team, 130 goals, 5 Women’s World Cup berths, 2 World Cup championships and 2 Olympic gold medals. You can read more about her at kristinelilly13.com.

Marta was named FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times between 2006-2010 and she still plays a key role in the Brazilian Women’s National Team.

Shawn Blymiller

Shawn Blymiller

I was a guest host on a weekly podcast called "The Jockularity Show" in preparation of the World Cup. It was there that Rick Aaron from Channel 4 News coined me a "Soccer Geek". I played 2 seasons in the Premier Developmental League, 1 year with BYU and 1 year with the Ogden Outlaws. I also played soccer in college and was named to the All-conference teams. Soccer is my passion, it is in my makeup and in my DNA. I am staying involved with the beautiful game as much as I possibly can. I have done the play by play and the color commentating for games in the PDL, and the Western Athletic Conference for UVU. Follow my posts about RSL, RSL Women, Real Monarchs, UVU Soccer, BYU Soccer, and just about everything else in the footballing world. #COYG Arsenal!
Shawn Blymiller

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