Savannah McCaskill, a rising junior at the University of South Carolina, was named to the 2016 MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List as announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). She was the 2014 SEC Freshmen of the Year, 2015 Third-Team NSCAA All-American, and 2015 First-Team NSCAA All-South.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer presented annually to one male and female athlete. The 38-person female watch list will be narrowed down to 15 players near the end of the regular season before three finalists are revealed in December. The winners will be announced on Fri., Jan. 6, 2017 during the trophy presentation banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
McCaskill was a member of the CESA '95 Girls ECNL team that captured the 2012 USYS Region III Championship and placed 3rd at the National Championship held in Rock Hill, SC.
Below is an interview with Savannah:
When did you start playing soccer?
SM: I started playing soccer when I was 3 years old.
What makes soccer special to you?
SM: Soccer has always been my escape from anything that is going on in my life and has always been something that I love doing.
What are your favorite memories from your time at CESA?
SM: While playing for CESA, I not only grew as a soccer player and continually got better thanks to the coaches but I also meet some pretty amazing people and made friends that will last a lifetime. Between winning Regionals one year, all the ECNL events, and practices it was an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
SM: I don’t know if I would say I’ve had one specific great accomplishment. The success that I have had so far in my career is just motivation to continue to get better and reach my goals.
What are the key differences you notice between the club and college level?
SM: I would say both speed of play and the physicality of games were the biggest differences I saw coming into college.
What are you most looking forward to this season with the Gamecocks?
SM: I am looking forward to getting back on the field and doing everything possible to have a great season and reach some of the goals we have as a team.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
SM: Some of the best advice I was given was to leave no doubt. In whatever I do, I give a 100% so that at the end of the day no matter the results I can be proud of what I did and who I am.
Who do you look up to?
SM: I have had several key people in my life that have shaped me and molded me into the person I am today. However, I would say that my parents are some of my biggest role models. Watching the work ethic that both my mom and dad have in their careers while always being at every one of my games is unreal. They have definitely taught me some pretty important lessons.
If you hadn't picked up soccer, what sport would you be playing?
SM: I played basketball up until middle school so maybe that…
If you could give advice to players just starting out, what would you tell them?
SM: I would tell them to just enjoy the process and as you get older always remember why you wanted to start playing in the first place. Fall in love with the game because it is fun and can be an amazing part of your life.