Melanie Pickert - Hawks Alumni News


Seemingly born with a soccer mind

Senior Melanie Pickert brings a leadership element to the team, something difficult to replace.

By Jordan Hansen 

One of the captains on the Hawkeye soccer team and a key defender on its vaunted defense, Melanie Pickert has this practice off, resting and preparing for the rigors of the weekend ahead.

Normally, the senior’s hands would not be in her coat pockets and the serious expression on her face would be directed downfield, watching opponents set up their offensive attack.

This day, however, that face is processing a question about the very limited number of games left in her storied career.

“The whole experience has been about taking it one game at a time, making the most of it, leaving it all on the field,” Pickert says. “I’m trying to set an example for the younger kids, for them to keep motivating and pushing and really to just have the senior class go out on a good note.”

That response summarizes Pickert’s career in a nutshell. Always looking forward to what’s next and bringing people along with her for the ride.

It is the mark of a good leader but also of a good friend — something that redshirt senior Katie Nasenbenny has often noticed in the years the two have been friends.

“She’s such a genuine person, and not that she doesn’t care what other people think of her, but she’ll do what she thinks is right, regardless of what’s popular,” said Nasenbenny. “I think a lot of people respect her for that on the team.

“She always thinks about other people, and that carries over to her play on the field; she’s always trying to make peoples jobs easier.”

As Nasenbenny says, Pickert lives to make the other player’s jobs a bit easier on the field. Watching any Iowa game, her voice can often clearly be made out over the general din of the crowd.

Sometimes she’s making adjustments, other times they’re simply words of encouragement to her teammates.

It would not be a stretch to call her a coach on the field, and she has absolutely gained the confidence of her teammates and coaches.

“She’s a soccer mind, she likes watching video, she likes to watch the game, and watch her opponents,” head coach Dave DiIanni said. “I think she’s somebody who can play at the highest level; we’re trying to get her into the U-23 National Team camp, and we’ll find out that later on.”

The idea of playing at the next level is something that has been on Pickert’s mind recently.

She spent part of the summer in Canada practicing for the coming season, and the dream and allure of playing at a higher level is certainly in her heart.

“I was gearing up pretty well for the season, but since then, some things have happened, and I haven’t been able to practice as much as I would have liked,” Pickert said. “I wanted to play pro, and I still want to — I would love to have the opportunity to do that.

“It’s still part of my dream, but if not, I want to go to grad school for occupational therapy.”

When Pickert bids adieu after the Hawks’ final game this year — whether that be in the Big Ten tournament or in the NCAAs, she will leave a lot of good things behind.

The respect that her teammates have for “Mel,’ as she is affectingly nicknamed, is profound.

“She’s probably one of the hardest workers on the team and one of the hardest workers anywhere, on any team, in any sport,” Nasenbenny said. “You can just see it — she grinds for everything in practice, and when it comes down to it, is just a really good person.”

Hawks 04 Black team win Championship

Hawks04Black rock

Congratulations to Coach Jill and Coach Brett and the Hawks 04 Black girls (and guest goalie Emma from the Hawks 05 team) for taking home the championship at the Nightmare at the Rock tournament in Indiana October 24-26th. The girls went undefeated and scored 20 goals with only 2 against in 4 games. The girls were also undefeated in their fall WSSL season only allowing 1 goal in 8 games!

Hawks in College - Weekend Report #5

Michelle Manning gets assist to help Northwestern past Michigan State:

Ashton Miller assists on both goals to help Duke beat Boston College:

Megan Buckingham scores in 3-0 win vs Miami:

Summer Green and Megan Buckingham play well in UNC 1-1 draw with #2 Florida State:

Ally Haran has a 4 point game in Wake Forest's win over Boston College:

Ariana Donahue scores in WMU win over BGSU:

Mallory Weber scores first goal in victory over Nebraska:

Captain Melanie Pickert scores game winner in Iowa's 3-1 win over OSU:

Captain Shannon Mcarthy plays all 90 in Miami's 3-1 win over NC State:

Izzy Rodriguez and Alexa Spaanstra go to US U17 Camp:

Madisson Lewis scored to draw against Northwestern.

Alison Holland gets fourth win for Oakland:

2015 Girls State Cup Wrap Up

On Sunday October 19th the Michigan Hawks 97 Black were named the 2015 State Cup Champions. Advancing to the finals was a great accomplishment after defeating the Michigan Gators 1-0 in the semi finals I. The finals brought even more excitement while the girls played their heart outs and earned a victory over the Grand Rapid Crew with a 5-2 score. The girls hard work, dedication, and motivation along with the leadership from their Coach Gene Pulice earned them this state cup title.

Hawks97Black SC

The U14 Michigan Hawks 01 squad had a solid showing in the 2105 Girls State Cup Tournament. The team chalked up three consecutive victories in the preliminary round outscoring their opponents by a combined twenty-one goals for and zero against. In the round of sixteen the team prevailed over Waza East 2-0 advancing to the Semi-Finals contested on October 19th at Ultimate Soccer located in Pontiac, Michigan. After a hard-fought 1-1 tie and two overtime periods, the Hawks suffered a heartbreaking loss falling 3-2 in the first round of penalty kicks.

2015 Girls State Cup

The Michigan Hawks would like to congratulate the U14, U16 and U18 Michigan Hawks for advancing to the MSYSA State Cup Semifinals.

The U14s shutout both their opponents this weekend, beating Waza East 2-0 on Saturday and the Michigan Burn 2-0 on Sunday.

The U16s won their quarterfinal game, 2-1 in overtime, versus last year's state finalist, Michigan Gators. Ahead most of the game, the 16s overcame a late Gator goal in regulation to score with 5 minutes left to go in the second overtime to secure the in

The U18s won their quarterfinal game in a crazy, 5-4 overtime match versus Novi Jags. After going down 2-0 and then 3-2, the 18s found a way to get the game to OT and score 2 goals in OT to win and advance to the semifinals on Oct 18th at Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac.

Check out the times to cheer these teams on. Go Hawks!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2014
MatchTimeHome TeamResultsAway TeamLocation
 8:00 AM
Ultimate #1
 10:30 AM
Ultimate #3
 6:00 PM
Ultimate #3
Sunday, October 19, 2014
MatchTimeHome TeamResultsAway TeamLocation
 8:00 AM
Michigan Hawks 97 Black 5-2 GR Crew Juniors 97 MRL Black Ultimate #1
 6:00 PM
Alliance FC Academy 99 Black 2-1 Michigan Hawks 99 Black Ultimate #1

Hawks in College - Weekend Report #4

Rachel Winters and Ashley Garr help lead Bowling Green past Ohio, 2-1:

Rachel Winters interviewed after 1-0 victory vs Kent State:

Michelle Manning assists game winner for Northwestern:

Natalie Krygier scores game winner for Iowa to beat IU and former Hawks Nickie Zuckerman and Jesse Bujouves, 1-0: and

Aly Haran and Monreau Devos play all 90 in Wake Forest's upset of #5 Virginia Tech:

Jamie Cheslik, Ashton Miller and Megan Buckingham chosen to top 50 Freshmen in Division 1 soccer: and

Paige Wester and Ali Krause score in 2-1 win over Ohio State:

Melanie Pickert and Katie Brown started 77 games in college together.  The duo came to the Michigan Hawks at U12 and have played together ever since: and