Name: Marie Berwinkel-Kottmann
Sport: Women’s Soccer
Year & Major: Freshman, Kinesiology (Sports Administration)
Hometown: Bielefeld, Germany
DC: How long have you been playing soccer?
MBK: I started playing soccer when I was 6 with my little hometown team. I used to play with the boys in the beginning and then once I got older I started playing with the girls. When I was 13 or 14, everything started to become more professional.
DC: Have you always been a goalie?
MBK: No. I actually started on the field. I used to help out in the goal whenever we needed a goalie. I think I actually became a goalie when I was 15 because my coach just felt like I was too bad for the field and I should be a goalie.
DC: What do you love about being a goalie?
MBK: It’s an important position and you really are able to help the team. Even though you’re having a bad day, you can really be the reason why you lose or why the team wins. You carry a lot of responsibility with you but I like it, I like being responsible and being able to help the team.
DC: What other responsibilities does a goalie have?
MBK: It’s really important to help coach the team. I’m in the back so I can see everything. I can coach them on where to go, where to play the ball and I’m also part of the buildup so I can start plays or switch the play and be helpful however I can.
DC: Any pregame rituals or superstitions?
MBK: I don’t do anything special. I just put my left shoe on first and my left glove on first.
DC: If you weren’t playing soccer, what would you be doing?
MBK: I don’t know. When I was younger, I did vaulting. It’s kind of like gymnastics on the [pummel] horse. It’s not that common here. I used to do that but I quit because of soccer. I like tennis; maybe I’ll try that whenever I end my soccer career.
DC: What are your plans for after you graduate?
MBK: After my bachelor’s, I want to go back to Germany and get my master’s and then try to find a job somewhere. I wish to work for a sports brand in the marketing area.
DC: What’s it like living in the States as opposed to living in Germany?
MBK: It’s not that different. I mean, people here are really nice and they’re really welcoming. For sports, it’s a lot easier here to do soccer and college since it’s combined. In Germany, we don’t have such thing. You play for a club team and then you go to college and it’s not like interacting with each other. So it’s hard to combine both those things.
DC: Do you have a favorite food back in Germany?
MBK: I really like pasta, which we have here, too.
DC: What’s your favorite thing to eat here in the States?
MBK: I feel like the burgers here are really good. Even though we shouldn’t be eating that many of them but yeah they’re really good here.
DC: What do you miss most about Germany?
MBK: Definitely my friends and my family. But since there’s FaceTime and all that stuff, it’s not that hard.
DC: What does it mean to you to be a Bulldog?
MBK: I’m really proud to be part of this Bulldog family. It means we’re all working hard for each other. We’re really trying hard to do everything we can to be successful. Everyone has each other’s back and it’s a real pride to be a Bulldog.
Fresno State women’s soccer goalie Marie Berwinkel-Kottmann (Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics)