Former defender and midfielder Annika Jansa, ‘20, high fives her Lehigh teammates. Since graduating, Jansa has been working for an investment bank in New York City. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Q&A: Catching up with women’s soccer alumni

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The Brown and White spoke with women’s soccer alumni Annika Jansa, ‘20, Maggie Wadsworth, ‘20, and Mary Casey, ‘20, to discuss their favorite Lehigh memories and how things are going post-graduation.

In their time at Lehigh, the trio started in 68, 55 and 20 games, respectively. Wadsworth was named a Third-Team All-Patriot League honoree twice in her career, and Jansa was given the honor once. 

Q: What have you been up to since you graduated?

Maggie Wadsworth, former Lehigh forward and midfielder: My official title is a financial product analyst, and I sit on an equity specialists team. My position is in New York City, however, due to the current circumstances with the pandemic, I am currently working remotely. They recently opened the office, so I’m hoping to move back sometime in November.

Annika Jansa, former Lehigh defender and midfielder: I’m working in New York City. I work for an investment bank, Macquarie Capital. I started in early July, so I had some time after graduation to relax. It has been definitely busy since then and there’s a steep learning curve, but it has been really good and I’m starting to get comfortable, which is nice. There are a lot of girls from the team in the city, so there’s been a lot of alumni to network with.

Mary Casey, former Lehigh defender and midfielder: I started working in June for a company that does clinic research for cosmetic companies. I am commuting each way from home.

Q: Looking back, what were your favorite Lehigh team memories?

MW: That’s a tough one. One specific memory would probably be when we made it to the championship game in the Patriot League Tournament, and that was my junior year. We just had a great group of girls on the team, and I think our team dynamics were the strongest that year out of all four years that I was on the team. That is something that I personally miss the most about soccer. 

I love the sport and all of the challenges that it brought me, but the main thing that I enjoyed about it was playing and learning alongside my coaches and teammates. Looking back, that’s definitely what I miss the most about the sport, and that’s something that I encourage the girls on the team now not to take for granted.

AJ: What I miss the most is waking up on a Saturday and knowing that there was a game that day and that all of the parents would be there for the tailgate after. Especially if you won that game, it was the best feeling because everyone was excited and in a good mood. I just miss that aspect of it, that kind of feeling. I miss the Halloween practices where we’d have a pinata with candy or doing yoga on the field. It’s the randomest things that I remember. I don’t know if it’s a certain win or moment, I think it’s the littlest things that make you remember how much fun it was at the time.

MC: My favorite Lehigh soccer memories will always be against Lafayette. Even when we lost our senior year, I think it’s always just a special game. Just playing them and having a big rivalry with them and hyping it up with all of the girls on the team is definitely the thing I miss the most.

Q: How has your Lehigh soccer experience shaped who you are today?

MW: I think that I graduated a much better person than I was when I came in. I think that the time management aspect was really key for me in translating to the business world because that’s definitely something that gave me an edge on my team. Also, I think that the coachability aspect is also key. Learning how to take feedback, properly apply it and get positive results is something that I was able to learn pretty quickly as a freshman. I think that since I learned it from a younger age, it brought me success because I was able to work on it, graduate and apply it to where I am today.

AJ: It got me used to a very disciplined kind of lifestyle. Being motivated when you don’t want to work and just grinding through it really prepared me for investment banking in general. The discipline of being motivated and working out and having to spend the whole summer training for the preseason is actually very applicable to real-life work because you’re not going to always want to do it, but it’s a job.

MC: I think Lehigh soccer helped me figure out who I was and how to become a better leader and a better person, day in and day out. I learned a lot on the field, but most importantly everything I learned off the field, like how to treat my teammates and the hard work and effort I put in each day, does translate to the workplace in a lot of ways that I see it every day. All of the hard work you do in college definitely pays off in the real world.

Q: Are you still playing soccer at all?

MW: Actually, in the months before I started at Bloomberg, I was training these three little boys. It was a lot of fun. I was able to stay connected with the sport through that. I am hoping to play in a co-ed league when I move back to the city, so maybe around the summertime when it starts to get warmer again we’ll be able to put a team of all the Lehigh soccer alumni together.

AJ: No, I haven’t. I haven’t touched a ball in forever, it’s so weird. I kicked around a little this summer, but very casually. I’m thinking that if people are ever doing this again, there’s a Lehigh league in the city that has people from the men’s and women’s soccer teams play on it, so I would definitely do that.

MC: I joined a women’s league team, and we play every week. I just can’t imagine living life without soccer, so when COVID hit and I learned that the women’s league was still playing, I had to join a team. It has been so fun.

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