Monday, January 12, 2015

Goin' Global

Traveling the world is an amazing experience.  It broadens people's horizons, helps people move in new directions and ultimately, fundamentally transforms people by engaging them in new activities in new places with new people.  Our students are able to experience travel through our numerous study abroad opportunities for entire semesters for 3-4 weeks over January Term.  We highly encourage all of our student-athletes to study abroad in some capacity during their four years at Gustavus and this J-Term we have three abroad.  Read the pre-trip interviews below and then check back in February for their post-trip interviews! 

Coursey Edwards
Germany, France, England, and Ireland
   I am studying abroad in the month of January with a group of roughly 30 other Gustavus students. My course title is the Olympic Quest Tour. I will travel to Germany, France, England, and Ireland. Within these countries I will be going to many cities and will look at pre and post World War Olympic Sites.

Berlin, Germany
1. You are visiting many countries over the month’s span, what does your itinerary look like?
Warner Bro's Harry Potter Sight
 Very busy!!! I first start my journey in Berlin, Germany. I will see many sites while I am here, one of them relating to sports being the Olympic Stadium. Another stop for us is the Checkpoint Charlie Museum as well as one of the few bunkers remaining after the war. From Berlin I head to Wittenberg, the key town in the Reformation. After Germany I will head to France. I will be seeing many of the major sites here, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and many more! Another fun excursion is our day trip to a vineyard located outside of Paris. I am also headed to the Stade de France (Olympic Soccer Stadium). Moving on to England, I will travel to London and see places like Westminster Abbey and the Warner Brothers Harry Potter site! 

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Lastly, I will finish up in Dublin. I do not spend a lot of time here, so I will want to use my time well and see Trinity College which houses the Book of Kells.

 2. Of the four countries, which are you most looking forward to visiting and why?
Eiffel Tower, Paris, France 
   I am most looking forward to France. We get to spend a lot of time there and I cannot wait to explore the country. I also am excited to experience the different culture that France has, not to mention to delicious cuisine!!
3. What new food(s) are you excited to try?
 I am excited to try all of the pastries and desserts that France has to offer! Especially crepes!

Brittany Chase
Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa

      1.   How did you choose South Africa?
       I chose to go to South Africa opposed to the other places available, because the focus of the trip is on global service. Our group will be volunteering for a non-profit organization called Africa Jam which helps underprivileged kids and teens by providing services for community programs, more opportunities for education, and leadership skills. We get to work with these children directly and help improve their lives which sounded so rewarding to me which is why I chose South Africa. We will also be going on a two day safari which will be very fun!
      2.  What do you believe will be the hardest part about adapting to and connecting with a completely new culture
Lion's Head Mountain
         I feel that the most difficult part about adapting to this new culture that I have never experienced before will be the food, the extreme poverty in certain areas, racial tensions, and the large time difference. It will be difficult initially but I really hope I can get out of my comfort zone to truly connect with the people I meet their and create meaningful relationships.

      3.  What are you most excited for
Robben Island
I am most excited to experience and immerse myself into new culture and meet some amazing people on the way. I am also very excited to go on a safari, going to Robben Island, climb Lion’s Head Mountain, go to several museums, and try some really unique foods! I am also excited to simply explore the city during our free time.
  I will be departing January 3rd and returning January 22nd!

Kendyl Landeck
Kendyl on a previous trip to Germany
1. Where in Germany will you be studying and what inspired you to study here?
    We will be studying in Northern Germany and then we will be traveling to Berlin and continuing onto Munich. I wanted to go on this trip because my dad’s side of the family is from Germany/Austria. This would be a great opportunity for me to travel around the country where my great great great grandfather came from. Also this trip is about debunking the stereotypes we have about Germans. As a sociology major this was very interesting to me.

2. There are more soccer fan clubs in Germany than there are anywhere else in the world, are you planning on attending any matches or exploring soccer from the Germans perspective?
   I do not plan to attend any soccer games, however I never know what my professor has up her sleeve. Depending if there are games taking place we might experience the Germans’ love of soccer through their spirit.

Munich, Germany
3. One of your goals of the trip is to learn about and debunk the stereotypes of what we, here in the U.S. and other places think about Germany –how are you planning to accomplish this?
    I plan to accomplish this by keeping an open mind to the culture there and learning about their way of life. I will experience people who may fit the stereotypes we associate with Germany, however, despite those who fit the stereotype, there are so many more Germans that don’t and I can’t wait to learn about them. I want to know what living in Germany is like and experience it to the best of my ability for the 3 weeks we are there.

We hope you can see yourself studying abroad at Gustavus as well!  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Classy Gusties

      We constantly preach being the best individuals we can be in all areas of our lives.  From the field to the classroom to walking around campus or town, we know we are representing more than just ourselves, instead we are representing our team, program, athletics department and Gustavus as an institution.  With this belief driving us, we work to display high class and sportsmanship towards our opponents, referees and fans.  It's a great honor to receive recognition for our sportsmanship with the NSCAA Silver Award for Sportsmanship and Ethics.  See the release below from our Gustavus Sports Information Department explaining this award!

Women’s Soccer Earns NSCAA Silver Award For Sportsmanship And Ethics

Posted on December 25th, 2014 by 

KANSAS CITY – The Gustavus Adolphus women’s soccer team was recently recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for its outstanding sportsmanship and demonstration of strong ethics this past season. For the third consecutive season, the Gusties were awarded the Silver Award, which requires a team to have no red cards and no more than five yellow cards accumulated during the season.
125 total teams receiving either the Gold, Silver or Bronze Award. Gustavus was one of only three schools to represent the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletics Conference in the Sportsmanship and Ethics Awards, with Bethel University and St. Olaf College being the others.

Courtesy of Gustavus Athletics. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Brittany Chase earns All-MIAC Honorable Mention, Valerie Belanger on All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team

Recently, our own Brittany Chase earned the All-MIAC Honorable Mention honors following the end of the 2014 season.  A very well deserved honor for Brittany, as she is truly a threat to be dealt with anywhere on the field.  She is the backbone of our attack, constantly showing her competitiveness and desire to succeed through her noticeable work rate every minute she's on the field.

She is the spark that gets everybody around her working that little bit harder, making repeated attacking runs up the field, while never ceasing to put on constant and relentless pressure to opposing back lines and center midfielders. Her competitive nature and drive to win combined with her skill and ability on the ball allows her to making plays all over the field, whether it's holding the ball under pressure in order to make a calm composed pass, or making a hard run up the field to open space for a teammate to attack into. She puts the needs of the team above her own, and it shows through her play.  As an upperclassman leader on the team this year, Brittany never hesitated to step into any role we needed her, as she saw time at striker, central attacking midfielder, and even outside defender for parts of the year.  Being a junior, we continue to be incredibly pleased with the improvements she continues to show and we are excited to see what she can accomplish during the offseason.  We are confident she will bring her strong leadership and soccer skills back with her next fall to continue her already very impressive career here at Gustavus.

Selected as a representative on the All-MIAC sportsmanship team is senior Valerie Belanger.  The All-MIAC Sportsmanship team is part of a conference wide sportsmanship initiative that the MIAC kicked off in the 2006-07 seasons.  One member from each sport from each MIAC school is selected to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team.  These representatives are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who habitually display ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition, which Valerie does on a daily basis here at Gustavus.

Val is the motivational rock on this team as a senior leader, constantly pushing everybody around her and doing so with a smile on her face.  This is Val's second consecutive year to receive the honor of representing Gustavus on the All-MIAC sportsmanship team and we couldn't think of anyone more suited for the honor.  She embraces her leadership role on the team and is constantly working to continue improving as well as being ready to take on whatever role asked of her by performs it to the maximum.  Her positive presence and hard work allows everything around her to begin to flow and spark optimism and motivation into everyone else on the team. We're very proud to have Val representing our Gustie Soccer team on this year's All-MIAC Sportsmanship team.

Brittany Chase Earns Women’s Soccer All-MIAC Honorable Mention Honors
Posted on November 14th, 2014 by Nick Hoelmer

Bloomington, Minn. – Gustavus women’s soccer junior Brittany Chase (Victoria, Minn.) was named to the MIAC Women’s Soccer All-Conference Honorable Mention team on Wednesday. It is the third straight season that the Gusties have had a player named to the honorable mention squad after landing two last season and three in 2012.

“Brittany is one of our best all around players on the team,” said head coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. “Her skill combined with work rate and leadership certainly makes her deserving of this honor and we are proud she received this recognition. Over the past three years in the program, Britt has adapted to her new position of forward with the utmost enthusiasm and energy and has embraced her role on the team strongly and has become our most consistent forward.”

Chase has indeed been a model of consistency for the Gusties, having started in 34 of a possible 35 games the past two seasons and playing in all 17 games her first year. In three years, Chase has racked up totals of six goals and two assists to combine for 14 points.

“Britt is really a multidimensional player that does so many great things that help our team,” said Burnett-Kurie. “She has the uncanny ability to play with her back to the goal, which is rare in the women’s game, she has the speed and competitiveness to get behind oppositions’ backlines and her recognition of when to play quickly compared to when to hold onto the ball is also notable.”

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the ninth-annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for women’s soccer. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition. For the second straight season, Gustavus’s representative on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team was senior forward Valerie Belanger.

Courtesy of Gustavus Athletics 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Team Earns NSCAA Academic Award

Yes, it's true.  The Gustavus Women's Soccer team is not only competitive on the soccer field, active within the greater community with service projects, and wonderfully caring individuals, but they are also studs in the classroom.  With a Team GPA of 3.37, they have once again shown their academic prowess by earning the NSCAA Academic Award.  Not only that, but they have earned their 3.37 team GPA through a range of majors including, but not limited to: Nursing, Biology, Psychology, Communication Studies, Management, Athletic Training, etc.  So yes, it's true: the Gustavus Women's Soccer Team is filled with exceptional, well-rounded student-athletes.  

Read more courtesy of Gustavus Athletics:

Women’s Soccer Earns NSCAA Academic Award

Posted on November 25th, 2014 by 

Kansas City, Kan. - The Gustavus women’s soccer team has earned recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association Of America for its academic performance during the 2013-14 school year. With a team grade point average of 3.37, the Gusties are one of 582 women’s soccer teams, regardless of division, to be awarded the honor.
The NSCAA annually recognizes college and high school soccer programs that have excelled in the classroom, in addition to their work on the field.  This year, a total of 861 college soccer teams (279 men, 582 women) posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher, thereby earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award.
Gustavus was one of nine schools to represent the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in the women’s awards.  All nine squads from the MIAC had team GPAs above a 3.3.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kendyl Landeck, Selected as Member of St. Lucia Court!

Gustavus Women's Soccer is extremely proud to announce that our own Kendyl Landeck has been selected as a member of the St. Lucia Court for this year's annual Festival of St. Lucia.  This is a tremendous honor to be selected to the St. Lucia court and we couldn't be happier for Kendyl!

Kendyl is a native of Moscow, Idaho. As a sophomore, Kendyl is studying Sociology and Anthropology, in addition to numerous extracurricular activities here on campus including the Gustavus Choir while being a member of the soccer team. Kendyl is an integral member of our team who has unfortunately suffered tragic injuries that would keep most from ever trying to compete again, but through Kendyl's hard work, optimism, and refusal to let her injuries get the best of her, she is flying through rehabilitation with a burning fire get back out onto the soccer field as soon as she can.  Kendyl is the positive force that keeps this team moving forward, never letting anything get in her or the team's way of making improvements and staying on the track to achieve our goals every day.  Regardless of what's going on around her, Kendyl is always the first person up to cheer her teammates on, to the point of regularly losing her voice.  She's never afraid to speak up for what she thinks is right and is the epitome of everything a coach, teammate and professors looks for in a player and student here at Gustavus.

The Festival of St. Lucia is a very strong tradition here at Gustavus, as we like to celebrate our Swedish heritage while at the same time recognizing those on campus who regularly exhibit glowing kindness, dedication, hard work, compassion, and exemplary academic achievements.  The Festival of St. Lucia begins the Christmas Season in Swedish custom and is traditionally held on December 13th (this year's festival at Gustavus will be held on December 11th).  On this day in Sweden, the eldest daughter of the family plays the role of St. Lucia by preparing and serving various baked goods and coffee to her family at sunrise. Wearing a crown of lighted candles, Lucia represents the return of light that will end the long winter nights and serves as a symbol of hope and peace for the Christmas season.  At Gustavus, the St. Lucia Court traditionally sings carols in the residence halls during the early morning hours on the day of the crowning. Lucia is chosen through a campus community vote, which will take place online December 2-5.

Other members of this year's court are Sarah Barnes from Prior Lake, MN, Rachel Hain from Roseville, MN, Janet Jennings from Inglewood, CA, Sharon Singh from Rochester, MN, and Laura Swenson from Eagan, MN. The St. Lucia court is chosen based on courageous leadership, strength of character, service to others, and compassion.  This is a very big honor for Kendyl and we're incredibly proud to have such an outstanding girl in our program.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Saying Goodbye: Our Fantastic Senior Class

This week we begin to say goodbye to our wonderful class of seniors: Karlye Smith, Caroline Olsen, Heather Goff, and Valerie Belanger, as well as our senior lead trainer, Angela Gewerth.  This was a group of seniors that brought a spark of life and competitiveness to the squad for all four years of their time in the program. It's difficult to think about the program without these girls driving everybody forward with their veteran skill and their strong leadership and knowledge of the game.  Before they cross the white line between player and fan, we would like to take a moment to commemorate their accomplishments and contributions to the team during their time with the Gustavus Women's Soccer Program.

Caroline Olson #1: GK of York, Pennsylvania.  Caroline has been such a positive force on the team during her time here, constantly pushing herself to be the best she can be.  She does whatever there is to be pushing herself to improve, as well as to push those around her to perform to their best ability as well.  Caroline can always be seen with a smile on her face, as she has such a shining passion for the sport. Absolutely nothing can keep her down.  First player to the fields and the last one to leave, she always finds ways to give more and more to the team.  She is truly a fantastic player to have on our squad, and will be greatly missed from the team moving forward.  Caroline is an athletic training major who has played in 28 games throughout her career and totaled 139 saves.

Valerie Belanger #10: Midfielder of Zimmerman, Minnesota.  Val is single handedly the most positive force on this team.  She repeatedly is able to come to practice and display a genuine enjoyment of not only the game of soccer, but of those around her on the team, as well.  Through the ups and downs over the years, Val has been such a constant through her work ethic and her positive personality; Val is the epitome of the player any team would want on their roster.  Regardless of the situation, she brings a force about her that causes everything around her to simply "flow". Val will be hugely missed, although we feel she's left a presence that will still be on the field for years to come. Valerie is a psychological science and nursing double major who has played in 32 career games.

Heather Goff #12: Midfielder of Eagan, Minnesota.  Heather has been been many things over her four years with the Gustavus Soccer Team, all of which are the ideal attributes in any great soccer player: competitive, consistent, reliable, and eager to continue moving the team forward.  As one of our more skilled players over the past four years, Heather continues to strive to improve and learn more about the game, helping to create a standard and a culture of development and progression in a program.  Heather has been instrumental in the team's success over her time here, and always with a right smile on her face.  Heather is a biology major and four-year starter who has started 52 career games and totaled five assists.

Karlye Smith #14: Defender of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  It is tough to think of a few words to describe Karlye, because when thinking about what defines a great center back, she embodies them all.  She is a brute force in the back line that nobody would want to find themselves in a tackle against, as Karlye is easily the toughest and most determined player on the field at any minute.  A physical and fierce competitor, yet positive and supportive teammate, it is made obvious quickly that anybody would much rather be playing by her side than coming up against her. Her leadership has been vital in our team's development, as she is not only open to always continue learning herself, but also helping those around her to quickly step into important defensive roles on our team through her example as well as helping to teach these positions to anyone who has had to step up into defensive roles around her.  It's scary to think of a back line without Karlye in it, almost as scary as thinking about playing against a back line of all defenders like Karlye!  It was a true pleasure to be able to have had her in the Gustavus program over the past four years. She really will be missed. Karlye is an athletic training major and four-year starter who has started 59 career games.

Angela Gewerth: Senior Athletic Trainer.  Angela as acted almost as a momma hen for the team, always keeping a close eye on everybody doing whatever she can to make sure everybody stays healthy and is recovering from any injuries as quickly as possible.  Angela was a perfect fit for our team, as she immediately was able to jump right in and become best friends with about everybody on the field, which is exactly what a team looks for in their athletic trainer. We always knew that at any time if something was going on with a player, Angela would be quick on her toes to sniff out any injury and begin working with our head trainer on plans to get them back to 100%.  Her close bonds with the girls on the team meant there was a fantastic flow of communication between our players and the trainers as they all felt close to her and trusted that her number one priority was their speedy and healthy return back to them playing at their full potential, as she honestly had as much as an emotional connection to the team and it's success as anybody.  Trainers as special as Angela don't come along very often, and we're incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her this year, and are excited to follow her success in the future.

A very special group of Seniors. We're going to miss them very much.