Staying active has always been a big part of Abigail “Abby” Hansen’s life.
When she was younger, Hansen played basketball, softball, gymnastics and even karate. But it was soccer that she developed a passion for.
“I first started playing soccer when I was about five years old,” Hansen said. “My older sister played soccer and she was always really good at the sport and I wanted to be like her.”
While her initial reason may be one that has been heard time and time again, what she achieved after she started playing is what sets Hansen apart.
While Hansen has played soccer for 14 of her 19 years, it is no surprise that her parents are her biggest supporters.
“My parents, John and Janet, are the true inspirations,” Hansen said. “They were the ones that sat in the minivan for hours on end driving me to and from practice four to five times a week, made it to nearly all of my games since I was a kid until now and I have three other siblings so that just shows how busy and dedicated they are.”
In addition to her parent’s encouragement, Hansen also received inspiration from Michelle Demko, a former player for Canada’s national women’s soccer team. Demko occasionally trained the club team Hansen was a part of when she was younger, where she was the first person to tell Hansen that she had the potential to play Division I soccer.
“She didn’t tell any of the other girls that on the team at the time,” Hansen said. “Coming from a person of her stature and experience, it really meant something to me.”
Hansen believes that soccer is such an amazing sport for one simple reason- the fact that it is the world’s sport.
“Every four years the FIFA World Cup is put on in some country across the world,” Hansen said. “I think it’s cool that soccer can literally bring people from all over the world together.”
Because almost every child growing up plays soccer, even if it is just kicking a ball around with
friends, it is now a universal sport. Even people who have grown up in completely different environments can bond over the game and that is what makes soccer so different than many other activities.
A Lincoln native, Hansen explains how thankful she is to have received a scholarship to play soccer at University of Nebraska at Omaha because it helped her accomplish so many of her dreams.
Hansen is currently majoring in Journalism and Media Communications. Her scholarship helps her achieve personal goals and sets her up for further opportunities in the future.
“I want people to know that I’m truly blessed and glad to get the chance to be a part of something so special,” Hansen said. “My parents are my biggest fans and I could never repay them for what they’ve done.”