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w/ WNT/U-21 WNT midfielder Aleisha Cramer

A monthly "How’s School?" report from the campus of one of the many players on U.S. Youth National Teams who finds themselves cramming for exams in between U.S. training camps.

This month, we get a page from the journal of BYU sophomore and Lakewood, Colo., native Aleisha Cramer, the U.S. Under-21 WNT veteran and rising star on the full U.S. Women’s National Team.

If you've ever been to Provo, Utah, you probably know that there is not a heck of a lot do. But after over a year at BYU, I am starting to realize that the city and surrounding area has a lot to offer -- you just have to be creative.

Still, most of my time during the college season is spent on the soccer field, traveling to the soccer field or coming back from the soccer field. Oh yeah, our coach Jen Rockwood likes to have a lot of meetings too. Basically, most of my day is taken by soccer and studying.

But despite all the time dedicated to soccer, believe it or not, I do have a social life and I'm really enjoying college. I have a great group of friends and we always have fun. The coolest thing is that we have fun just doing nothing. It's amazing that we can laugh as much as we do just hanging out.

Although I've been at BYU a little over a year, I've just discovered what might be the most fun thing in Provo. You think I would have found the hot spot a little sooner, but I guess I was just a typical freshman. The fun place is a big river about 10 minutes from campus. There is a HUGE tree that

you can climb to get up to a rope swing. It's definitely scary climbing that tree. They nailed little boards to the tree for you to step on, but you think that each one is going to fall every step you take.

Once you get to the top, you have to step over this huge branch, which is even more terrifying when you look down, and then you are finally on a wood platform. Now, you have to jump because there is absolutely no way you are climbing back down that tree. It's about 30-feet above the water, but it looks much higher when you are up there. You grab the rope swing and hold on for dear life. Then, it is critical that you must let go at the perfect time so you can land in the water that deep is enough. I bet my soccer coaches are REAL happy to hear what I am doing with my down time.

Speaking of my soccer team...we lost six starters from last year's BYU team, so we're young, but we're talented and really athletic. It will take some time to come together and gel, but I am excited about the team and it's a great group of girls.

I also love being a part of the National Team family, even if I feel like a little sister most of time, but I also love getting back to school and joining my team. I think as a soccer program we are only going to get better and I'm looking forward to being a part of that over the next couple of years.

Well, that's it from Provo. Make sure to visit our town if you get a chance! Just stay out of any high trees.

Take Care,


"Center Circle" (October 2001, Inaugural Issue)

In this Inaugural Issue of U.S. Soccer's new monthly fan newsletter / e-zine, you'll find the items listed below. Some will return next month, others will be entirely fresh for November.

1) Armchair Midfielder (MLS Playoffs)
2) Word Association (w/ MNT defender Jeff Agoos)
3) At the Movies (w/ U-17 MNT defenders Chris Lancos and Gray Griffin)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ WNT midfielder Julie Foudy)
5) Big Woman on Campus (w/ WNT/U-21 WNT midfielder Aleisha Cramer)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ WNT forward Tiffeny Milbrett)
7) Mark That Calendar (2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup)
8) Point-Counterpoint (w/ journalists Jere Longman and Steve Davis)
9) From the Bleachers (w/ PHILIPS chant contest winner Randal Bird)
10) "You Don't Know Jack (Marshall)" (U.S. Open Cup history)