Athlete Spotlight: Megan Hensel
Devin Schelske, sports editor
Team captain and senior Megan Hensel of the women’s soccer team has had a breakout season. On Oct. 2, she received her second MIAC player of the week award for the season. Her first award came after a marvelous game versus the University of Wisconsin-Superior at Edor Nelson Field where she scored two goals. Hensel later commented on the game, “The two goals I scored have been my favorite so far in my college career. That game was our dedication game for our teammate and my best friend Claudia Murray since the game was on her birthday. So scoring two goals for her was a really special moment for me and one that I’ll remember for a long time.” Murray was a beloved member of the women’s soccer team before her tragic passing in 2021. Hensel’s second award came after she scored a goal on two tough conference opponents in the span of a week. Hensel scored the tying goal on Sept. 27 at the College of St. Benedict as well as the first goal of the game on Sept. 30 versus Gustavus Adolphus College. On the season, Hensel has four goals and three assists.
I was able to speak with Hensel regarding her mentality for playing at such a high level. A lot of it comes from her inspirational support on and off the field. “My teammates, what I’m showing is the collective result of everything that they do,” Hensel shared. “I also give the coaches a lot of credit for making us who we are now and allowing us to showcase our skills, individuality and creativity.”
As for her goals, Hensel only has one thing in mind: to win and keep on winning. “I don’t have goals for individual games other than winning. I love to win and I’m extremely competitive. Winning is the funnest thing ever outside of spending time with my teammates,” she said. “The season goal is to qualify for the playoffs. It was our big miss last year and something we know that we can achieve.”
She also wants to use her time as team captain to foster a positive environment for the entire team. “Creating an environment where everyone can feel comfortable being themselves and what they have adds value to a team,” Hensel said. “I’ve been on teams in the past where what you offer as an individual isn’t valued by those around you so being able to show support to every single player and letting them know that who you are as a person is valued, matters a lot.”
Part of being the captain is amping up the players for the games and when asked about her typical pregame speech, she told me “I tell everyone that the first five minutes is something we need to focus on. We have to come out hard and set the tone. We have to put our stamp on the game and get it under our control. I always end it off with telling everyone to just have fun. I think a lot of the time you can get stressed in big games and focus too much on the individual aspects. Sometimes you forget that at the end of the day and for us it’s 90 minutes to have some fun.”
Catch Hensel and the Auggies back in action on Oct. 10 at Edor Nelson Field as they take on the Bethel University Royals.