Esson Shows True Leadership as Senior Goalkeeper

Senior Victoria Esson has developed into a true leader during her decorated Texas Tech career.

Oct. 4, 2013

 by Kelsey Buckner

Texas Tech Athletics Communications

LUBBOCK, Texas - What is seen on the soccer field is the result of heart. 

Words can lack meaning, but the passion that bursts from one senior makes it clear why her teammates are drawn to her leadership.

Texas Tech senior goalkeeper, Victoria Esson does the work for the results. From New Zealand to Lubbock, Texas, Esson is a vital player, friend, and role model to her team and coaches.

She arrived in Lubbock just prior to the 2011 season as a sophomore, and said Tech was a standout university, making for an easy transition. She is Tech's first international soccer player and was recruited from a five minute video compiled and sent to coach Tom Stone.

When discussing her transition to Lubbock, it was clear she is humbled by her experience at Tech.

"I kind of stress how big of an opportunity it is for Americans to be in this type of environment," Esson said. "There's nothing even close to it in other countries, getting free tutoring, nutritionists on hand, and just anything right there at your disposal."

Esson takes advantage of her time in Lubbock. Her teammates describe her as hard working, positive and motivational. She said what motivates her to work hard and give it everything she has is to leave Lubbock with no regrets.

"College sports are up in three years for me, and I thought, `I have to make the most of this,'" Esson said. "So, I really didn't want any regrets and look back in a few years."

The dynamic of Tech soccer is driven by Esson's contagious positive attitude. Her team is dedicated, and she said their work ethic pushes her to work hard for them.

Furthermore, her outlook is backed up by her play on the field. One of the top goalkeepers in the nation, she has had eight shutouts this season and 22 career shutouts.

The New Zealand native strives to encourage and train the underclassmen to be strong leaders and improve their skill. She has consistent expectations for the team and expects them to come to practice ready to give it all they have each day.

Esson's ability to lead and the interaction with her teammates has pushed them to continue to not settle. She said no matter their classification, she hoped people looked up to her and would never stop challenging themselves.

"With the range in ages, a five year gap," Esson said, "it's really about how I think leading by example and leading them in a way which you don't really need to tell them what to do, but they see what you're doing and working and kind of follow in that direction."

It is no secret her teammates respect and see her as a leader. Freshman forward Maddy Crabtree said she looks up to Esson in many ways.

"Ever since I have been here, I have never heard her say a negative comment," Crabtree said. "She is the hardest working person I have come across and I've never seen her not give 100 percent."

Junior defender Jaelene Hinkle said Esson has not settled since she joined the team in 2011.

"She has improved since she has been here," she said. "It's motivation to put in extra hours to make sure I'm doing everything I can for the team."

Both Crabtree and Hinkle agree that no matter the day, Esson goes above and beyond each practice on and off the field.

"She is the first one on the field and the last one to leave," Hinkle said. "She gets the team going and makes sure we are prepared for that week."

"She always has that winning attitude to make us each work harder individually," Crabtree said.

The passion Esson will leave behind when she completes her time at Tech will continue to be an example for the team. By Esson's leadership, Crabtree's energy and motivation as a Tech soccer player has the drive to be a conference champion.

"She's the reason for why I want to win the Big 12," Crabtree said.

The Red Raiders will face TCU for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the John Walker Soccer Complex tonight. 





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