Tag Archives: student-athlete

Soccer Ties 2-2 Against No. 17 Santa Clara, Ending Streak of Nearly 30 Losses to the Broncos

An Interview with Senior Goalie Megan Conor

We noticed you were filling in at goalkeeper tonight. What happened to your ordinary goalkeeper? How many times have you played the position at USF? Do you have prior experience as goalkeeper (i.e., in high school)?

All our other goalkeepers are injured at the moment so I stepped in for the time being. I actually have never played goalkeeper until about a month ago. I have been a forward my entire life and I never would have thought that I would be ending my 17 year soccer career in a position I had never played before. I have played in goal for about 7 games now, all the WCC conference games.

How were you able to be so successful filling in against such a tough opponent?

I’ve always been pretty athletic growing up, so I think that has helped me a lot with learning the new position. Our coach Maite has done a great job at training me and teaching me the position in the past month.

Describe what it means to draw against such a high-quality opponent, especially on senior night.

It was huge! If you had told me four years ago that we would have a tie against Santa Clara, with me in goal, I probably would have laughed! So this tie is huge for our program and I think it is just the beginning for these girls and they are going to continue getting better and better and become a real threat in the WCC in the upcoming years.

What can you say about how you were able to storm back from an early 0-2 hole against Santa Clara?

Our team just had a lot of heart and a lot of fight and we never gave up and never lost hope.

What can you say about this first year under new head coach Jim Millinder?

Jim is an amazing coach. He really understands the game and has taught us all so much. I wish I could have played for him longer than just a year because I think he is really going to take this program to the next level and I can’t wait to see what the team has to offer in upcoming years.

What does the future hold for this team?

This team is definitely going to be a threat in the WCC next year and I can’t wait to see where they go. I think the next step for the team is getting into the NCAA tournament and making history for this program.

A Day in the life of a Student-Athlete

6:00 am. It is time to wake up for the women’s tennis team who have to be ready for conditioning at 6:30 am. Who said it was early? Not Julia Wartenburger, a Junior who admits with a smile: “Sometimes it’s tough to have to get up at that time, but some teams like the women’s golf team have to wake up much earlier so I don’t complain”.

For about an hour, the women from the tennis team run, lift weights and do other exercises to be ready and strong physically. Any athlete knows that being in good shape is one of the most important keys to being an effective player.

Practice starts at 12:30 pm, so most girls have a class around 8:30 am or 10:30 am. Then, they head toward either the Lone Mountain or the Golden Gate Park tennis courts. For about wo hours, the women’s tennis team works on their different shots, strengthens their weaknesses, improves their skills and plays practice games.

Those who have class right after have to rush, as junior Cecilia Gratian explains it: “Last semester, I had to run from the court to my room, take a shower, get dressed and be in class on time. It was such a rush that I was used to have lunch before practicing.”

The rest of the afternoon, the girls have classes, usually with a majority of non-student athletes. “When we’re not practicing, we’re just like other students,” says Andrea Gaitan, sophomore.

Student athletes have to choose their classes according to their practice time; however, if there is a schedule issue that cannot be solved, the coach may change the practice time to make it easier and more convenient for everyone.

After class, each girl makes her own plans: doing homework, seeing friends, watching T.V., or having dinner in town.

Homework is part of the plans every time for everyone. “Conditioning and practice take a lot of time, so we have to be serious about school. But it’s okay because we are used to playing tennis and studying.We know how to manage stress and time,” asserts Jenni Heinser, senior and captain of the team.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association established that one week prior to the start of finals, institutions must cease practice. From the end of the season to that point one week before finals, student athletes cannot practice more than eight hours per week. This permits athletes more free time to study and relax.

It may look like student athletes’ lives are rigid, but they are not. When they are not representing USF colors in competitions during weekends, they explore the city, relax and party with their friends. If they do have games, it means that they travel within California or to Oregon or Nevada. They see different places, meet other people and get new experiences and memories.

Being committed to their sport and their studies while having fun at the same time: that is the philosophy of student athletes.