Driven since day one

By By Matt Sanchez

By Matt Sanchez

Matt Sanchez
Staff Writer

Hanna Terry is not your typical college student, nor does she want to be.

Sure, her eyes get nervous when she discusses her major: undecided, but she thinks marketing sounds right. She also wishes somebody would have had the courtesy to tell her the truth about living on campus. You can’t cook your own meals when you reside in the dorms, a tough adjustment for Terry, who plays chef in her free time.

Her days start early. While most of us lie in our beds, dreaming away, she’s up at Ute Field working on her game. She’s not up before the sun because she has to be, but because she has a drive to be better and help her team.

“Hanna is a good friend and an awesome teammate and person,” said Zoe Van Gorder, a freshman defender. “She is always there to cheer you up when you are down, and we can always count on a laugh together. We have been playing soccer together since fifth grade. She is one heck of an athlete and a very good student. To this day we remain best friends, teammates and partners in crime.”

Terry graduated from Park City High School a semester early. She was a three-time first-team all-state selection (’05, ’06, and ’08) and was the 3A MVP and leading scorer in 2008.

As a freshman, Terry has already made a huge impact on the women’s soccer team. She has started in every game this season and is second on the team with three goals. Her spot on the front lines has been cemented and will drive Mountain West Conference teams crazy for years to come.

“Hanna is a terrific soccer player and a great competitor,” said head coach Rich Manning. “She has a knack for making plays and putting her teammates in the right spots. She has a world of potential and the fact that she is contributing so early in her career says a lot about her.”

It’s just green grass with a couple of goals on each end, but when Terry steps on the soccer field, something happens to her. The only remnant of the humble and reserved girl is her braided ponytail. She is replaced by a fierce and ruthless competitor who relishes victory and hates nothing more than a loss.

“When the whistle blows and I cross that center line, it’s on and I’m pumped,” Terry said. “Nothing compares to winning, especially if I can contribute and help the team; it’s just the best.”

When she’s not involved in two-a-day practices, strength training, studying or team activities, she likes to decompress by getting away from it all.

Some people jog to get rid of stress. Keeping a journal, painting and photography are other common cures. None of the above are Terry’s methods, and don’t even mention distance running to her8212;she can’t fathom how anybody can run miles upon miles.

Although she prides herself on getting good grades, Terry has no qualms about letting you know that she’d rather have her face buried in a good novel than a textbook.

“I haven’t even gotten to the library yet this year,” she said.
She’s also a self-proclaimed homebody.

“I love to read and sometimes people make fun of me because I’d rather sit in my room and read a book than go out,” she said. “I’m kind of a geek, but once you get into a really good one, there’s no stopping.”

If she’s not entwined in The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter books, Terry enjoys cleaning and organizing her things. She said she believes that cleaning gives her a fresh slate and helps her focus on what’s most important in life.

From a young age, Terry has had her sights set on success and wasn’t satisfied with being average. Her mother, Lena, recalls Hanna’s sophomore year of high school. Even though Hanna had never played volleyball competitively, she decided to try out for the high school team. She impressed the coaches so much that she made the varsity squad.
“She is naturally gifted and excels at whatever she tries,” Lena Terry said. “We took a golf clinic together and neither of us had ever played golf before. Of course, I can’t hit the ball at all and pretty much made a fool of myself. Then, Hanna steps up and her swing is perfect.”

She’s never been the biggest, fastest or strongest, but that hasn’t stopped Hanna Terry from trying something new. A Park City native, Terry began skiing at the age of 2 and said she would love nothing more than to ski every day of her life.

She was drawn to sports when she was very young. She said that though Park City is a factory of sorts for athletes, she didn’t do it because she had to, but because she loved to compete.

“Hanna is so determined,” said Lena Terry. “When her brother was 4 1/2 and she was 2 1/2 her brother decided it was time to take his training wheels off. Hanna didn’t want to be upstaged, so she told her dad to take hers off. She kept falling and got so many bruises but didn’t let us put them back on. After about a week, she had mastered it.”

If you ask Hanna Terry what she wants to do with her future, you’ll get no hesitation. She wants to continue playing soccer and intends to play professionally, perhaps in Europe. How can you doubt someone who learned to walk when she was 8 months old?

“There are so many things I love about sports,” Terry said. “You can train, improve and go after a goal. There is really nothing like it, and when you can succeed at something, it’s like being on a cloud.”

Until she makes it big in the Women’s Premier League, the future of Utah’s soccer team is now. Terry and the rest of the Utes will start conference play Saturday when they travel to rival BYU.

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