As a collegiate athlete, entering your senior year there is a lot that you want to prove, to yourself and as well as everyone else.

For the six seniors and one graduate student on the roster, this season will come down to their leadership and mentoring skills for the large group of underclassmen on the team.

In particular, senior forward Anissa Hartmann will be fulfilling a leadership role in her final year and is already feeling good with how well the team has bonded this early in the season.

“Even in preseason, we learned and picked up on each other’s habits so quickly, and starting that so early will make us a great team,” Hartmann said. “Everybody mixes so well. It’s a great family feeling.”

Leadership from someone other than a coach is a big part of success and progression as a player which is something Hartmann learned when she was introduced to the program as a freshman.

“I’m looking forward to it a great deal,” Hartmann said referring to her role this season. “Not only for me, but the other seniors have leadership and have great leadership skills as well.”

Hartmann knows what it’s like to be an underclassman and to be brought up in the system, therefore she is able to connect to the younger players on the team, in particular the 10 new freshmen.

“They’re new to this, they’re new to college and playing soccer here, so I use that as my fuel to lead by example and set expectations for them so they know what this program is about,” Hartmann said. “I feed off of their new energy to help me be the best I can.”

Being able to play soccer is a challenge of its own, but being able to also teach and coach it takes another type of talent as well – which is something Hartmann hopes to do after she graduates.

Graduate student Cammey Keyser, who is rejoining the team after she coached a high school soccer team elsewhere, gaining experience in the field that Hartmann looks to pursue, which as a senior, is a unique experience to learn from someone older than you in a field that looks beyond just playing the game of soccer.

“Being able to pick her brain about her experience coaching girls close to her age would be a great experience and I hope to get that experience like she did,” Hartmann said.

Hartmann’s love for the game of soccer began before she can even remember. Her household was full of sports, however her sisters played softball, which Anissa deemed too slow, thus leading her to take on soccer which she hasn’t stopped playing since the day she could walk.

“There was one year in high school I think I played on seven or eight different teams,” Hartmann said. “It was great, I loved it.”

Now that she is a senior playing for PSUC, she has had the opportunity to learn and grow alongside head coach Tania Armellino, who has developed a great relationship with Hartmann.
After her breakout performance last season, Hartmann has solidified herself as one of the players the incoming freshmen can look up to and use as a resource to improve their game and knowledge about collegiate soccer.

“Anissa, she had the most goals I believe, in the SUNYAC’s last year. I know she came in really fit and really strong,” teammate Madeline Sacoccio said about Hartmann. ““I think she’s going to be really successful.”

There is no doubt that Hartmann has a strong group of players surrounding her on the field. The flourishing mix between everyone allows the bonding and chemistry building that is done off the field translate to success on the field.

“Anissa only knows one way to be, and that’s to work as hard as possible and to fight for the team.” Armellino said.

After making it to the semi-finals in the last two seasons, Hartmann and the rest of the Lady Cards look to achieve even more this year by bringing home a SUNYAC championship, which would be quite a legendary way for Anissa to end her college career at PSUC.

“She’s been an absolute true leader because she only ever – we joke and call it the ‘Anissa speed,’ – but she’s only ever doing her best, and you can’t ask for anything more when it comes to hard work ethic and determination,” Armellino said.

Email Ezra Kachaturian at sports@cardinalpointsonline.com

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<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/ezra-kachaturian/" rel="tag">Ezra Kachaturian</a>