March 30, 2006
Buckeye midfielder Lara Dickenmann recently wrapped up another game with the Swiss National Team playing in a World Cup Qualifier match, leading the squad to a 2-0 victory over Ireland. Dickenmann, who will be entering her junior year at Ohio State in the fall, did not mind sacrificing her spring break to help the Swiss team build its presence in Europe. In fact, balancing soccer in Switzerland and the United States is a challenge Dickenmann looks forward to.
You scored both goals in the Swiss team's win over Ireland. How does it feel to play such a pivotal role in the team's win?
"It always feels good to go back and actually be able to help the team win, whether its goals, passes or just being part of the fight. This game was very special for me because it was in front of all my family and friends. Ireland also was a opponent we knew we could beat."
What are the Swiss National Team's expectations during the World Cup qualifier matches?
"We are a small country in a pool with Germany, Russia, Ireland and Scotland. In fact, Germany was the World Champions in 2003. But I like beating the top teams. It's all about development with our team. It would be an unrealistic goal to try to qualify for the World Cup right now. Our next step is to try to win the European championship. Basically, as we are getting our team together, we are learning each others personalities and skills."
Describe the atmosphere of preparing for an international match.
"We are together for a short period of time. Some of the players are working or going to school like me, so it is hard for all of us to get together at once to practice. We have two or three practices two days before our match. For many, the first priority is working and making a living, so it is hard to get vacation time. But I did not spend my entire time practicing and playing soccer. I was able to visit my family and friends also."
Describe the challenge of transitioning from European soccer to Ohio State.
"It is pretty exhausting, but I like the challenge. I'm excited about the team this year at Ohio State. There is a difference in our attitude and the atmosphere is different. Spring practice is going well and we get to play some top teams to help prepare for the season. I'm looking forward to seeing how our team will perform in the fall."
How do you manage playing soccer in the United States, Europe and then attending school?
"Mostly I go home when I'm not in school, so I don't have to worry about that. It usually takes me a few days to get back into the rhythm of things because of the time difference and jet lag. But the coaches and the team understand and they help me recover quickly."
You will be a junior this upcoming season and presumably will take on more of a leadership role. How will you embrace being one of many leaders on this Buckeye squad?
"I would like to take the role of the playmaker again and try to do that better than previously. Off the field I will have the role of being a respected teammate who helps to keep the level and the intensity of practice high and also set high standards."