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Isabelle Udovc shares her experience being a student athlete

Isabelle Udovc is a rookie midfielder on the Mohawk Mountaineers women’s soccer team.

Udovc started playing soccer when she was young.

“I think what first got me into soccer was that I’m the youngest of three kids and both my older siblings were playing, so I felt a little left out and I wanted to be like them,” she said.

“I thought I should start playing soccer too, I think that was when I was four, so pretty young,” she continued. “I am 23 now, so I’ve been playing for a long time. When I started playing, my mom was my coach, so I just played house league and then soon I started playing rep. and I just really liked it, so I stuck with it.”

“I got to go to university on a scholarship, which was amazing.  Got to play for Paul Giannini, who was my coach for about six years before I went to university, which was amazing. and then I got to play for him again this past year at Mohawk, which was great,” Udovc recalled.

Gianni, the head coach of the Mountaineers, has nothing but praise for Udovc, from her leadership skills to her abilities and strengths on the pitch.

“Isabelle is a coach’s dream player, always willing to put the team first,” he said. “She will play any position and play any role that’s asked from her. Isabelle has a great attitude and brings team leadership. Isabelle’s biggest strengths are her ability to play and read the game. She is loaded with technical ability. Isabelle is a treat to watch play. She is so smooth and makes everyone around her better.”

Udovc and the Mountaineers finished the season with a 7-3-2 record.

Udovc said she planned on playing for the Mountaineers this season as she was returning to school in hopes of becoming a chiropractor and opening her own clinic.

“I’ve only been playing for the Mountaineers for this past season and that’s as much as I will do,” she said.

“I chose it (Mohawk) because of the program. I’m thinking of becoming a chiropractor and  Mohawk offers a program that’s like a small business fundamentals,” she added. “So I thought that would be important for my own chiropractic clinic if I ever end up doing that. And I like playing for Paul as well, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to have some fun playing soccer, and being able to get a little business certificate as well.”

Being a student-athlete can be a challenge. For Udovc the hardest part is time management.

“There’s a lot of demand for both academics and athletics, so you want to be able to perform at your best in both areas,” she said. “It takes a lot of patience with yourself, being able to schedule everything and having time for all the things you want to do.”

One thing Udovc likes to do that helps her balance her academics and athletics is to organize her schedule for school assignments and practices.

“I really like writing everything down on calendars so that I can see everything. I have a big calendar in my room that has all my assignments on it and when we were in season,” she said. “I also had all of our practices for that month written down, like what time and where they are just so I could schedule myself every day and allot time for specific things.”

“I’ll also be able to get to all the training and games.  I think scheduling and having everything written down is really helpful when you want to be able to achieve your maximum in both areas,” she added.

For Udovc, one of the best parts about playing for the Mountaineers was playing with others who enjoy the game as much as she does.

“I have a lot of nice memories from playing with the girls, they made the games really fun, It was really about how they wanted to win, but they were also just really happy to be there, which I loved,” she said.

“It’s nice to play with people who just have that love for the game,” she added. “I think just spending time with them is really lovely. They all really love the game and just love to be there and have fun and kind of let loose in that time.”

Udovc finished the season with three goals and six points in 10 games.


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