On the SPOT with UNH women’s soccer goalkeeper co-captain Mimi Borkan

Bret Belden

Q: What are your general thoughts on the season so far and how has the senior experience been for you?
A: You know I think as a senior it’s really flown by faster than it even has any of the other years. We’ve played some really good soccer, we’ve had some good results; we’ve had some results that we wish we could get back and turnaround, but I think for the most part we’ve been pleased with the way we’ve been playing and I think it has just been a fun team atmosphere this fall. We’ve had a really great group and we got a lot of young kids but I think we are really bonding as a team and that always makes a season a lot more fun, a lot more successful and it goes by a lot quicker.
Q: As a goalkeeper, what do you do differently in terms of preparing for a game? What goes through your mind as a goalkeeper during game preparation?

Courtesy of Athletic Communications

A: I think it’s different because everyday at training, and in the warm-ups, there’s only [maximum] four of us: our goalkeeper coach and then the three [goalkeepers]. It’s always a small group. We’re all competitive and everyday we push each other. I think it’s just more an accountability thing, I think all of us have a lot of pride in what we do. We’re always trying to make more clean catches and make more saves than each other and that really pushes us [differently than] when you’re a forward or defender, you’re typically in a group of 25 people. I think just from that standpoint, and then in terms of game preparation, I’d say that I am a very detail-oriented person so when we go through the scout I pick up details especially about their attacking personalities more so than some of my other teammates. I am always looking at numbers, and what people’s strengths are just so I can be best prepared. Always taking a look at especially if they’ve had any penalty kicks or anything like that where its really my situation. Defensive corners and free kicks I really focus in on that.
Q: What made you get into soccer? When did you start playing?
A: I think I grew up in a town where pretty much one played pre-k and kindergarten soccer. I loved being outside [and] running around, I wanted to play soccer so my parents obviously signed me up. I was probably four at the time and I just really loved it. When we started it was co-ed and you just kind of ran around and there were flag goals, super simple. Really just had a lot of fun, and then grew up playing for my town [Medfield, Massachusetts]. Really, my grade growing up all the way through my senior year of high school, we had a really talented grade, so that made it a lot of fun, I stick with those girls, basically from third grade when we started [with] travel teams through senior year, and I started playing goalie pretty early; I used to try and stand in between the flags when I was young and there were no goalies allowed. I used to get yelled at to go run around. Basically once we got into like [six versus six], I was in the goal for half and playing on the field for half and I just kind of stuck with it.
When you started looking at schools, why did you choose UNH?
I really loved the campus once I got here, and visited after talking with the coaches for a little bit; I kind of just fell in love with the school. I was really excited about the direction the program was going, I thought that this could be a place where I [could] come and really make an impact which excited me as a potential recruit, because there are other places I went that they had a solid goalkeeper, that they had goalkeepers lined up for three or four years and just the way that they recruited me here they made me really feel like I was someone that could come in and make an impact and I was super excited about that opportunity. Super excited about the fact that I could come to a program that had not won a championship and hopefully be part of doing that, which we were fortunate to do. That really drew me, and just the people, the girls, the team the atmosphere that I felt around the [UNH] Field House just being here for that overnight visit. I basically committed the next day after I went home so I left here with a really good feeling.
In your own words, what does it mean to be a Wildcat?
I think it’s just putting forth your best effort everyday whether it’s in the classroom, here in the Field House athletically and in the community. Putting on a UNH jersey brings me a lot of pride [and] when I do for the last time I know its going to be a really hard moment because I’ve just thoroughly enjoyed my entire four-year experience here. People say it but once you’re a Wildcat you’re a Wildcat for life so I’m excited to see not only what we can do with the rest of the season, but especially with the young team the direction these girls can go in going forward and I know I’ll follow the team for a long time and for years to come. It’s a really big community even from our [alumni] who I played with, girls who I’ve never even played with who I’m in contact with . It’s just just one big family and I’m really happy to be a part of that.
How do your co-captains, Lily Raddack and Jackie Feraco, help you become a better captain and just a better leader of the team overall?
I think one of [Radack’s] really big strengths is that she is a performance-based leader.  What I mean by that is she might not always be the most vocal, but when she gets on the field, she’s a leader by her performance. She’s someone that gets stuck in; she’s always working hard. She makes really big tackles really big plays for us. I think that people see that and that’s one thing that I always try to feed off is her energy and that attitude of going hard into everything and I think the team does too . I think [Feraco] is someone that has a super quiet confidence about her. She’s a very talented player and I don’t think she always gets the recognition she deserves for that ability. I think she’s someone that has a lot of respect within the team. I think people really look at her and respect the things that she does on and off the field. Everyone that I’ve worked with, I’ve learned different things from and I think those two are really great examples of people that just put in the work, put in the effort and they are rewarded with those leadership roles because the team respects that.