Apr 23, 2019
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Fresno State senior forward Fanny Johansson battles with a defender during an Aug. 26 practice at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Fanny Johansson: Swedish Roots, American Dreams

Fresno State senior forward Fanny Johansson battles with a defender during an Aug. 26 practice at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Fresno State senior forward Fanny Johansson battles with a defender during an Aug. 26 practice at the Soccer and Lacrosse Field. (Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Born to Margareta and Ake Johansson in Gävle, Sweden, Fanny Johansson has always been an athlete since she was child. Now in her final year of soccer at Fresno State, the senior forward looks to finish strong, both on the field and in the classroom.

Johansson played many sports when she was young, but it wasn’t until a couple of her friends invited her to a soccer practice, that she really began to take interest in team soccer.

“It wasn’t until my classmates, when I was about 10 years old, that were playing soccer invited me. I was doing all kinds of sports like track, volleyball and pingpong,” Johansson said. “But then, they just invited me to practice, and from there it all started.”

In her time in the United States, Johansson has had to adapt to her surroundings and learn new things, such as the language, culture and the Central Valley weather.

“My first language is Swedish, so that was a big difference,” Johansson said. “The weather here is way hotter than it is in Sweden. I like the heat though. And just the culture, the food and soccer is also different here.”

Johansson came to Fresno State in 2012. She’s say the things that attracted her to the university were the coaching, style of play and the educational resources of Fresno State.

“I just clicked with coach Brian Zwaschka, he’s a great coach, and he coached the way that I wanted to be coached,” Johansson said. “I liked the location, I liked the business program, and it was just a great click for me.”

In her freshman year, Johansson appeared in 17 matches, recorded 1,130 minutes and made four shots with two on goal. So far in her career at Fresno State, Johansson has 18 shots, nine shots on goal and three points credited to her.

Johansson describes her play on the field as very physical. She’s tall and strong. Whether she is on defense or on the strike as a forward, she depends a lot on her strength. Head coach Zwaschka can attest to that.

“The Division I level requires an athleticism level and physicality that a lot of people don’t understand,” Zwaschka said. “When you see a player like her, she personifies that, that physicality. So you’d rather play with her than against her.”

Johansson is an international business major. She feels that knowing multiple languages can be used to her advantage when it is time to choose a career.

“I picked my major to use both Swedish and English,” Johansson said. “I’ll be able to do some type of import and export between the countries and be able to utilize that to my advantage.”

When not on the field or at her studies, Johansson likes going to the movies, relaxing and getting ice cream.

“Once in a while, I go shopping. I also love traveling, but I don’t get to do that too much during the season,” she said. “But in the offseason, I like going to San Francisco or L.A. for a little trip. I also went to watch Barcelona play this summer, so that was pretty exciting.”

Even though her time is coming to an end at Fresno State, Johansson still has aspirations to keep playing soccer and do it on the highest level. She also will continue with her education.

“I want to play professionally,” Johannsson added. “And also just continue with my studies. I want to go to grad school, as well.”

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