CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Each Tuesday through the women’s soccer season, Charlotte49ers.com will feature alumnae of the program in celebration of the program’s 20th campaign in 2013. Former players were selected at random for the Q&A and the plan was to include all eras of the program, dating back to its inception in 1994.
This week’s edition features Hailey Beam (2006-09). Beam, a Cornelius, N.C., native, played three seasons for Jon Lipsitz and her final year for John Cullen. She was a member of the program’s NCAA Tournament squads in 2007 and 2008, Atlantic 10 regular-season championship teams from 2006-08. As one of the more prolific players in program history, she started 76 of the 81 games in which she played throughout her tenure with the Niners, scoring 36 goals (tied for second) and adding 31 assists (second) for 103 points (second). Nine of her goals were game winners (tied for third). She also added 157 shots (eighth) during her career.
She was the program’s first consensus All-America, earning honors in 2008 from NSCAA/adidas, Soccer America, Soccer Buzz, TopDrawerSoccer.com and added another TopDrawerSoccer.com accolade in 2009. Beam was selected to several national teams of the week, earned a spot on the Hermann Trophy Watch List in 2009 and was the Atlantic 10’s Student-Athlete of the Year and Midfielder of the Year in 2008 and 2009. She was also the 2007 and 2008 Atlantic 10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player and collected a number of other honors during her illustrious career.
1. What factors led to your decision to attend Charlotte?
I had always wanted to go somewhere that was going to push me and get me out of my comfort zone. With that, I thought that meant going somewhere far from home. However, my older sister, Lindsey Beam Ozimek, transferred to Charlotte and that's where it began. I was able to experience hands-on the culture of the team, the phenomenal facilities, the practices that pushed you to exhaustion, the quality of the education and its facilities, down to the vision and attention to detail the coaches had; everything was so intoxicating. The culture was so different than anywhere else. I realized the team and coaching staff were going to push me more than any other school I looked at. I committed to Charlotte my junior year of high school and decided to graduate high school a year early as well. My sister was a huge reason why I wanted to go to Charlotte. She was a phenomenal player and so by graduating high school early, I was able to play two years with my sister instead of only one.
2. How did you see yourself grow as a soccer player and as a person during your collegiate career?
Before I got to Charlotte I thought I was already a hard worker. Little did I know there was so much more potential waiting to pour out. Jon Lipsitz had created a culture that made you want to work harder and be better on and off the field. Not just for yourself, but for your 25 other sisters as well. I saw my leadership qualities develop starting as a freshman and was honored to be able to use those characteristics to serve the team as a captain my junior and senior years. The leadership traits that my coaches and teammates instilled in me those four years have very much impacted my growth out in the real world.
3. What are some of your fondest memories of playing soccer with the 49ers?
Where to begin....playing under the lights at home on Friday nights and the bus road trips were definitely favorites. Also the crazy dance parties before games where Leah Zappone would do her Irish dance, Danielle Mayeaux taught everyone the cupid shuffle and Whitney Bryant's signature dance, "Shake it Like a Salt Shaker". One more vivid memory would be my sophomore year, playing at home in the A-10 Championship game. The game went to overtime and Buda (Nikki Czaplicki) scored the game-winning goal. As soon as she scored, I tackled her in excitement while the team rushed the field and joined in on the dog pile. Another memory that only became "fond" after graduation would be our 6 a.m. winter conditioning. Even though it was miserable having to run sprints that early (while Jon Lipsitz stood there with his Starbucks drink telling us we were behind pace every lap), it made our team bond and culture grow even stronger!
4. How often do you play soccer these days?
I try to play as often as I can! I just finished up an adult league season with a local soccer club in Charlotte. Nikki Chapman (Dumencich) and I played together which was fun to play with her again! I also do some coaching which is a fun way to stay involved.
5. Where are you currently living (city, state)?
6. What is your current occupation?
I'm involved in the commercial insurance industry and also have my own business.
7. Do you have any family (husband/kids/pets)?
Not married yet. But I have my Pomeranian, Tiger, who Danielle used to babysit in college. I also have a five year old niece (future 49ers soccer star) and a baby nephew on the way!