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    Hanna silences her harshest critic — herself

    David Le
    Rachel Hanna lets it fly for Endicott College.

    David Le
    Rachel Hanna

    Rachel Hanna played a couple of years of basketball at Chelmsford High School, but soccer was always her first love. She and her older sister, Megan, were born in Vancouver, British Columbia, where her mother’s side of the family was from, and moved to Massachusetts when Rachel was about 1. Megan played soccer at the University of Southern New Hampshire and Rachel chose Endicott College in Beverly, in large part because of its athletic training program. A forward, she had a breakout senior season and scored 15 of her 26 career goals while helping Endicott to a 13-5-1 record and a Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinal appearance. Since the season ended, she’s been named the conference’s Player of the Year and also to the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division 3 Women’s Scholar All-East Region third team, along with collecting other awards.

    Q. What’s your best athletics memory from Chelmsford High?

    A. I don’t think it’s a specific game or a time in a game. I think it was my sophomore year in general, the last year I was able to play with Megan. We played really well together and were able to score so many goals and get so many assists. It was awesome to play with someone where you could reach each other’s mind. It was such a great year.

    Q. And what about a best memory from Endicott?

    A. I think above all else . . . it was this year overall. The team chemistry we had was amazing. We were all on the same page and ready to do whatever we could to benefit our team. There was no drama on the team. There wasn’t anything that couldn’t be said.

    Q. What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a coach?


    A. As corny as it sounds, never get down on yourself. I think that’s one of my weaknesses as a player. Honestly, it’s been a weakness up to this year. I’ve worked on it and improved and I’d like to think I’ve toned it down, but my coach might say differently. When I’d pass the ball wrong or shoot and miss the net, I’d get down on myself and coach would say, “You’re a great player. You know you’re a great player. Go out and play soccer.”

    Q. What got you into athletic training as a major?

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    A. I never really had an injury. I think that’s the typical answer people give who are going into athletic training, it’s because they had an injury. I took an anatomy class senior year of high school and had a knack for it and liked it. It came naturally and I wanted to do more and followed up on it outside of school. I found out about Endicott and originally thought about majoring in exercise science. I had an interview and they asked me about my major and recommended I check out athletic training. There’s such a great program here and I’m so glad they steered me this way. I’m working with the women’s hockey team this year.

    Q. What’s your favorite professional sports team?

    A. I don’t think I have a favorite pro team. But you have Barcelona and Real Madrid and all these amazing teams. The US Women’s National Team. I was able in 2015 to go up to Canada and watch the women’s World Cup. I saw Canada and the Netherlands, and being from Canada, I took so much pride in the Canadian women’s team. Their captain, Christine Sinclair, is amazing. That team is amazing.

    Q. What’s your favorite place to visit?

    A. I’d probably say Vancouver. I don’t get to go that often. It’s absolutely gorgeous. My grandmother lives right on the water on Vancouver Island.

    Q. Do you have a secret talent?

    A. How about a fun fact? In class where you tell your name and where you’re from, I have a cool fun fact. I never had a fun fact until a couple of years ago when I found out I was born in the same town as the singer Michael Buble. It’s Burnaby, right outside Vancouver. And he is one of my favorite singers and artists. I listen to his Christmas album on repeat. Plus, Christine Sinclair is from the same town. That’s three of us. It makes us a triple threat.

    Allen Lessels can be reached at