Getting to know RSL Women Captain: Annie Hawkins

Today I have the privilege of getting to know captain Annie Hawkins a little better. Annie has a decorated resume playing part of the U.S. Women’s National Team pool, as well as playing professionally in Sweden in the Damallsvenskan League for QBIK. At Gonzaga University, Hawkins is second in school history for goals, assists, points, and shots. She was First Team All-West Coast Conference in 2003 and 2004. IMG_0981_2

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 G.P.A. of 3.76. She grew up playing for the Utah Futbol Club.

@ShawnBlymiler: 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.

@ShawnBlymiller: Why were you in Cincinnati?

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

@ShawnBlymiller: So when did you come to Utah?

Annie Hawkins: We were actually born here, and then we came back in between each place that we lived. So we lived in Utah, San Francisco, Utah, Cincinnati, and then back here. We ended up back here in 3rd grade.

@ShawnBlymiller: Tell us about your greatest soccer victory to date.

Annie Hawkins: 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.

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

Annie Hawkins: The goal that comes to mind is actually a goal I scored playing in the WPSL. It was to clinch a seat in the Final 4. 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 ya know, when you don’t even remember how you did it. (This was in 2012 when RSL Women took 1st place in the Big Sky Division. RSL Women ended up making it to the Semi Finals of Nationals.)

@ShawnBlymiller: Who is your favorite teammate?

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

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

Annie Hawkins: 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 National Team coach), 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.

@ShawnBlymiller: She still does that.

Annie Hawkins: Oh my gosh she is so good.

@ShawnBlymiller: Who did you look up to growing up?

Annie Hawkins: I followed Man U, so Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Thierry Henry a little bit.

@ShawnBlymiller: Thierry Henry but a Man U fan?

Annie Hawkins: I know... (laughter) It doesn’t make sense but he was so fast and I was like, I want to be as fast as him.

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

Annie Hawkins: Probably when we went to the Final 4. 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 that motto ‘Dedication to Each Other’. That moment is kind of where we sealed that. If you play for each other, you are going to end up winning more often than not.

@ShawnBlymiller: So tell us more about that mantra ‘Dedication to Each Other’

Annie Hawkins: 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.

@ShawnBlymiller: Time to get a little goofy… Who is your favorite musical artist?

Annie Hawkins: Lauryn Hill or Talib Kweli.

@ShawnBlymiller: What is your dream car?

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

@ShawnBlymiller: Which Olympic sport other than soccer could you win a gold medal?

Annie Hawkins: Basketball, I played through high school.

@ShawnBlymiller: How do you rate your dancing abilities?

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

@ShawnBlymiller: What were your best and worst subjects in school?

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

@ShawnBlymiller: Have you ever had a nickname?

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

@Shawn Blymiller: Tell us something we don’t know about you.

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

@ShawnBlymiller: 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 with watching Mia Hamm. But it was never someone in your city, in your state, that you could maybe run into at the grocery store, or see them actually play a game. I think that is so important for the girls to actually see it, because when you have a real life mentor or role model that you can watch you believe that you can do it too.

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

AH: (Humble grin and shades of red on her face) I am just blessed.

Well believe it girls and boys. You learned it yourself from a Utah native. You can live your dream and play the sport you love. Make sure to come watch Annie Hawkins and the rest of the RSL Women put the mantra “Dedication to One Another” to work in front of your own eyes. Check out their schedule here shortly.

*Further information for those new soccer fans: (Kristine Lilly was just inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame on Saturday 02/14/2015. Her career included 352 caps for the U.S. National Team, 130 goals, played in 5 Women’s World Cup’s, won 2 World Cups and 2 Gold Medals) (Check out Kristine Lilly’s own personal website at http://kristinelilly13.com/) (Marta was named FIFA World Player of the Year five consecutive times between 2006-2010 as a key figure for the Brazilian National Team.)-- Yes, Annie played against some big names.

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