Student Profiles - Kelsey Mattola
Major: Biology/Environmental Science
Hometown: Monkton, Maryland
Position: Forward/Attacking Mid
Kelsey Mattola is underway in her second season as a member of the women’s soccer team. Mattola had a solid first season as a Marauder and was able to gain a lot of playing experience as a freshman. She appeared in 16 games and started 13. She led the team in shots and was tied for a team-leading five goals, two of those goals being game-winners. Mattola also had a solid freshman year academically, being named a PSAC Scholar-Athlete in her 2011 season.
How long have you been playing soccer?
I’ve been playing since I was in kindergarten, so about 15 years.
What made you choose Millersville University?
I really liked the feel of the campus, and when I found out the school was highly ranked academically, specifically in science, it definitely seemed to fit with my potential major. I also did a tour with one of the soccer players before coming here and felt the team was a good group of girls to surround myself with which still holds true to this day.
What do you love most about playing soccer?
I love that it’s a team sport. Everyone on the field and even on the bench play an important role.
What do you find most challenging about playing a college sport?
The most challenging part is adjusting to the level of play. The only way you can truly get used to it is by playing in real games. Unfortunately not everyone on the team can play on the field at one time. I am thankful that I played a lot as a freshman because it bettered me as a player.
Sometimes finding time to do schoolwork can be difficult when you play a college sport. How do you juggle soccer and your academics?
I get my work done when I need to. I’m a fairly organized worker, so when I have a deadline it is always met. I balance my social life around soccer and school in a way that works for me.
How has your educational experience been at Millersville?
My educational experience has been fairly decent so far. Since I am a bio major I have to take lab courses, and it can get tough at times when I have a game the same time as a lab. However, my professors are usually understanding about my situation and treat it as fair as possible.
What has been your most rewarding experience so far as a student?
My most rewarding experience was last semester when I earned a good grade in my Chem 112 course because I put in the extra effort to get a tutor and asked questions when I needed to.
Who has been most influential for you in the classroom here at MU and how have they contributed to your success as a student-athlete?
My Chem 112 professor, Dr. Edward Rajaseelan, was very significant to me last spring. He understood the demands that were put on college students and clarified lecture material very well. He only wanted his students to do well so approaching him with questions came as a much easier task for me. Because he had such a great teaching style this put less stress on me to understand the material and overall do well in the course. With less stress I was able to enjoy my outside time and playing soccer in the spring instead of worrying what lecture was about that day.
Who has been most influential for you on the field?
My parents have been most influential to me. They are the ones that introduced me to this sport, and ever since then have been there to support me all the way. All the rides to practices, money spent on extra training sessions and games they’ve watched have paid off. They know I love what I’m doing, so it’s important to them to be in the stands this season as much as the next. I’m very thankful to have parents that care as much as they do.
How do you prepare for a big game?
If we’re traveling, I listen to music that gets me in the zone. I try to leave all my outside worries or problems somewhere else and just focus on what lies ahead. I hydrate and stretch my body well in advance so I know nothing will hold me back in the game.
What is your most memorable moment as a Marauder?
I would have to say it was at our first game last year when I was a freshman. I remember it like it was yesterday. That very same day of our first game my mom was in the hospital getting surgery. I was very anxious for her as well as for my very first college game against Shepherd. I played a good portion and ended up scoring the game-winner. We won 2-1. I told her I did it all for her. I also remember my dad coming straight from the hospital and getting there just in time for my goal. He was crying when I walked up to him after the game. It was a very meaningful night for me.
What are some of your other hobbies and interests? I enjoy days at the beach where I can surf, skim board, kayak and take walks down the shore. I also like to play beach volleyball, bocce ball and horseshoes on the beach. I like hanging out with friends, going swimming in my pool at home, and going to my nearby gym. In the winter I snowboard with my brother and friends. I like to travel, mountain bike and white water raft. When I just want to relax I listen to music—I love Keith Urban, Mat Kearney and Avril Lavigne.
How has Millersville helped you succeed as a student-athlete? As a freshman it offered study hall hours so I had designated times to get my school work done. It has also encouraged students and other athletic teams to support each other which help make for a better community and leads to the success of our Marauders.
What are your plans after graduation? I will more than likely be attending grad school. Once I receive my masters, I would like to work for an environmental company like the EPA to help our growing community.
If you could offer one piece of advice to incoming student-athletes, what would it be? Just do your best at the sport you love and do well in school. That kind of balance will benefit you a lot in the future.