Mac's star goalkeeper takes a shot, on the court

By Ian Ritz

The first time I saw Louisa Bigelow ’06 was during soccer pre-season four years ago. I remember thinking to myself, “How could she be a goalie? She’s too small.” Well, four seasons later, Bigelow certainly proved my assumption wrong, earning All-Conference and All-Region honors in 2004 and 2005 on the way to becoming one of the top goalkeepers in the country.

I had the unique opportunity to watch her final game against the University of Puget Sound in the national playoffs earlier this year. Though the team lost in a penalty shoot-out, Bigelow was stellar, recording 15 saves and, without a doubt, had the best performance of any single player on the pitch that day. Bigelow is currently playing in her first season for Macalester women’s basketball. I had the chance to chat with her about soccer, basketball and life.

Mac Weekly: So everybody should know that you guys had a pretty incredible soccer season last fall. What were some of the highlights for you?

Louisa Bigelow: See this is funny cause one of the best moments wasn't even on the field. It's before every game when we're sittin' in the Fieldhouse and I look around and see my girls gettin' ready. Puttin' their shin guards on, listenin' to pump-up music. My girls, my team, women's soccer, pretty hot. Bein' part of that team you know. Everybody got your back, put a smile on your face. And we're good!<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />MW: What's the thing you're going to miss the most? <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />LB: The feelin' [of] being on a team. You practice every day with the same people and you joke around with the same people every day. You just belong to that team. We would do anythin' for each other. I would dive into a girl's foot head first for them, and they would have my back no matter what. There's somethin' about being in the middle of a group of strong, athletic, confident women. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />MW: In high school did you plan on playing soccer in college?<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />LB: That's part of how I picked here. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />MW: Why did you decide to go out for basketball after soccer? <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />LB: At first I joinedcause I was mad sad that soccer was over, but now basketball is real fun and it’s cool to learn the game and get better.

MW: I didn’t get a chance to make it to game the other day, but I heard you got your first two points. Can you set it up for me?

LB: Well, it was just like practice. I went off the pick and well nobody was around me `cause they thought they didn’t need to guard me, which usually is true, but this time it was different. The ball was in my hands, I raised my arm, and with a flick of the wrist…money in the bank.

MW: What do you think of the new coach?

LB: She’s done a good job. It’s a real tough situation to come into and she’s done a good job on a lot of different levels.

MW: Shifting focus a little bit, what is your major?

LB: Sociology and Education minor.

MW: What are your future plans after graduation?

LB: All that stuff about being around strong, athletic women will always be a part of me. I want to coach soccer to city kids, kinda tough kids you know—coach soccer and through that teach about life- whether it is working at a group home or coaching a soccer team, I’ll be doin’ the same thing basically.

MW: How did this passion for working with troubled kids come about?

LB: Well, now this is going to get personal. I think a lot of it has to do when I came out. I got real mad and now I can kinda understand when kids get real mad, what that’s about.

MW: What were you mad at?

LB: The world really. Cause it’s just a deep feelin’ that it’s not fair. A lotta kids get that feeling. Lots of kids get mad at the world for reasons that I may not have experienced, but at the same time I can relate to gettin’ past that anger, moving on and doin’ your thing exactly how you want to. Usually these kids got harder situations than I had, but I like to be part of a positive influence for them.

MW: Well, we need to end on something a little more light-hearted, what are you looking forward o the most the rest of the semester?

LB: Going out! Bein’ a playa! I mean I’m not really a playa at all, I just like to pretend.

MW: Who’s the hottest celebrity?

LB: Sanaa Lathan, the girl from “Love and Basketball.” She ain’t gay of course, but she’s mad hot.

MW: So as a departing senior, do you have any words of advice for the younger classes?

LB: Yo, some more of these cats need to get gay. There ain’t nearly enough.

Hey, you think this interview will help me reach playa status?

MW: Most likely.