‘Shifting my mindset,’ Senior Alicia Donley leads by example

Alicia Donley during the women’s senior day soccer match against Akron at Baujan Field on Sept. 11. Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media & photography.

Taylor Robertson | Sports Editor

University of Dayton Women’s Soccer Senior, Alicia Donley, says she’s wiser and leading her team by example this season. 

“I might not be the loudest but I hope my actions are kind of a light for others,” she said. 

Donley felt it was important for her to take advantage of NIL opportunities, so she did just that. She reached out to the co-founder and general manager of Hunny Bee’s Chicken on Brown street, Joe Niehaus, and made it happen. 

“She’s a great representation of the brand and kind of who we want to be,” Niehaus said. “It’s super exciting.” 

With hopes to use this experience to shine a light on issues that are important to her, she expressed to Niehaus that it would be great if they would be willing to team up with a female athlete.

“This is my first big NIL deal, and Joe has been great to work with so far,” Donley said. 

It was only a matter of time before the NIL deals began to roll in for Donley. As a Marketing major, she knew what she needed to do to make a name for herself. 

On top of participating in organizations around campus and being a strong leader on her team, she also began creating relatable content on social media that ultimately helps attract recruits to the university and grow her personal brand. 

At a practice this season she was miked  up to record content for the official women’s soccer Instagram (@daytonwsoccer). 

After a while she forgot she was miked up and could appreciate the authenticity of the end product. 

“It’s genuine, it’s real,” she said. “I think if I was a young female athlete looking at that I’d think that it was so cool that Dayton soccer does that.” 

Donley plans to utilize her COVID year but cannot help but feel sad that this is her senior year. She will be spending this season on defense, a position she has never played before. Her mindset changed from wanting to score goals to preventing them. 

“I’m taking it one day at a time and just enjoying the opportunity to be on the field,” she said. 

The team this year has allowed room for Donley to pursue a new position and she credits their hard work and dedication. 

“This team has some of the best talent I’ve ever been a part of,” Donley said.

Hunny Bee’s first female partner Alicia Donley and owner Joe Niehaus cook up a collaboration. Photos by Gupta.

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