Sam Mewis is the leading scorer (seven goals, two assists) and cocaptain on the UCLA women’s soccer team, the No. 1-ranked program in the country. Life is good for the 21-year-old midfielder. Four of her goals have provided the margin of victory for the Bruins, who host Colorado Sunday. Afterwards, Mewis and her teammates will run a free youth soccer clinic in conjunction with Soccer Without Borders. In 2008, Mewis and her older sister, Kristie — the all-time leading scorer at Boston College — became the first sisters to represent the United States at a World Cup event. An English major, she is also the author of a blog, “Mew’s Views.”
Q. What do you attribute your early success to this season?
A. I have my teammates to thank for some awesome passes. I’m a senior now and it’s time for me to step it up.
Q. You earned your first call up to the US national team in January. Did that help you to prepare for this season?
A. I have had a lot of good experiences away from UCLA this year and playing with the national team definitely helped me to prepare. I got my first full national team cap in the Algarve Cup against Sweden and then again against Denmark. Being in camp and training at the highest level helped me to improve in a lot of areas and to identify with myself as a player. I’ve been able to bring some of that experience back to the team.
Q. As the defending national champions, what’s it like playing with a target on your back each game?
A. It’s fun but it puts a lot of pressure on us. We get everyone else’s best game every night. . . . We want to repeat and that is the goal. I think that is attainable.
Q. Other than winning the national title, what is one of your best soccer memories?
A. In March my sister Kristie and I traveled to Portugal with the US women’s national team to play in the Algarve Cup. We were subbing into the game together and somebody took a photo from behind of the two of us. All you see is our backs and “Mewis” on our shirts. I get chills talking about it. It was one of the coolest moments. Playing alongside my sister for the national team had been a lifelong dream for both of us.
Q. You’ve traveled the world playing soccer. Where was your favorite venue?
A. I’ve always said that one of my favorites was Brazil, but I was so young that a lot of it was lost on me. But Japan is one of the top ones. I had the opportunity to go there in 2012 with the US U20 team. We stayed there a month and we won the World Cup. We went to five different cities and it was such a cool cultural experience. I’ve also been to New Zealand a couple of times. I’d love to go back there on vacation.
Q. What is it like living in LA?
A. A lot of fun. The weather is unbeatable and there is always something adventurous to do.
Q. Best advice you have ever received?
A. My dad [Robert] coached me all growing up and when I was young he constantly was reminding me to have fun and enjoy it. I still consider him a valuable resource because he knows the game so well and his biggest advice to me now is to “be dangerous.”
Q. Who is your favorite professional player from any sport?
A. Good question. Am I allowed to say my sister?
Craig Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.