Women’s soccer hitting the books hard

Emily Moore, Staff Writer

Coaches and athletes have had to work with NCAA Division II athletic standards every year.

Standard NCAA rules and regulations state that Divison II athletes must have a 1.8 semester GPA or above both semester their freshman year. Sophomore and upperclassmen athletes must have a 2.0 GPA or above each of their semesters.

Not only do athletes seem to worry about whether they will be eligible for their season, they also have to worry about their work load.

NCAA rules and regulations state that each Division II athlete must take and pass at least nine credits a semester.

Pitt-Johnstown women’s soccer head coach Rachel Gironda said she has her own expectations for her team to keep their high team GPA of a 3.15, one of the of all the sports teams at the Pitt-Johnstown campus. University rules states that every freshman student-athlete is required to log five hours of study each week.

Gironda said she did her own checks on her players as well.

“Also, I check their midterm and final grades and have meetings with them to follow up on how they’re doing,” said Gironda.

“Other than those two things, I really don’t need to enforce more rules because the women’s soccer does well academically,” Gironda said.

Even though women’s soccer does well each semester, Gironda said that they still aim higher.

“Every year, the team sets an academic goal,” said Gironda.

“This year it was to achieve a team GPA of 3.25 and each year we have made this goal,” said Gironda.

“We are 0.1 points away from it from the first semester, so we’re hoping for an increase of 0.1 to reach our goal.”

Senior soccer player Ellen Brady said that besides the NCAA and their coach, the players hold themselves accountable to have high academic standards.

“As a team, we hold ourselves to a higher standard,” said Brady.

“A team goal of ours is to have a team GPA of 3.0, which we achieved this semester with a 3.15 with 17 players on Dean’s List and 3 players with 4.0.”

Working together as a team, face-to-face has been one of the many study habits the women’s soccer team members have used to study, according to Brady.

“To meet our standards, we also put forth a team effort like studying together on long bus trips, groups of us going to the library after practice and, of course, the freshmen study hall hours,” said Brady.

“At any time on the soccer bus, you can see multiple girls with their books out, going through flash cards and more; and our coach really encourages us to put academics first so it’s nice to have that support.”