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SOCCER AMERICA INTERVIEW: Oklahoma State's Yolanda Odenyo
by Bryan Alvarez, November 13th, 2008 8AM

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Swede Yolando Odenyo is a big reason Oklahoma State tied a school record with 17 wins and enters the NCAA Division I Women's Tournament. Odenyo earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honors. She talks about the Cowgirls' chances in the NCAA Tournament.

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YOLANDA ODENYO
College: Oklahoma State University
Class: Senior
Position: Midfield
Hometown: Uppsala, Sweden
Club: Baoinge
Major: Human Development & Family Science

Why your team will win the College Cup?
I know we have a good chance. Throughout the year, we've learned. We have great chemistry and talent. We are a hard working team and we won the regular-season conference championship. I'm told that we're the most scoring school in the nation. Now we have to reload, set new goals and keep working hard.

Biggest area of improvement needed to win College Cup?
There are always bits and pieces. We've been very consistent. Now it's a matter of nerves. We have experience. Now, we have to perform when it matters.

Greatest asset as a player?
My leadership. I go into every game trying to lead our team to a win.

Biggest weakness as a player?
It's not a weakness but I would like to continue to score. I want to continue to show quality. It's a challenge I've put on myself.

Best advice you received when you entered college?
My mother told me that you could do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it.

Advice you gave your freshmen about Coach Carmichael?
All of us seniors made an effort to get everyone on board. We told them to give 100% to everything they do -- class, practice, games. So, we didn't say anything in particular about the coach. We just let them know that it's a long season. We talked to them at midseason, too.

Favorite hangout when you're back home?
I like being at home with family and friends. There's nothing about a place, it's the people who are around.

Favorite hangout on campus or in town?
The soccer field. It's more fun than the library.

Fondest memories-playing youth soccer?
It was stress free. When you get older and you put so much into your game, you get more serious. It's easy to think too much sometimes. I try to keep the joy in my game.

18 or 21-what should the drinking age be?
In Sweden, it's 18. People seem to be more responsible with their drinking in Sweden. I can't say that I've been impressed with American drinking culture.



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