Sports Staff Writer
Alexis Goins (cover photo), a freshman women’s soccer player, uses her creativity and knowledge of soccer as an attacking-mid fielder. Courtesy of Erik Schelkun.
The transition from high school to college isn’t easy for students. Life on your own, new friends and tough classes are foreign to incoming freshman at the start of their first semester.
Take all of the stress and pressure that comes with starting college and add it to days riddled with training, games and travel. The sum of this equation is a freshman student-athlete. Balancing life with all of these factors is not an easy feat, but it is something that freshman all-A10 soccer player Alexis Goins has taken in stride.
From her days as a prolific goal scorer at Fairfield Senior High School to her time now at Dayton, Goins hasn’t missed a beat. In high school she racked up so many accolades, it warrants a list rather than an effort to force them into an eloquent sentence.
- Four-year varsity starter
- Three-year varsity captain
- Four-time First Team all-conference
- Two-time conference MVP
- Three-time all-state
- Named to high school all-american team
Goins’ high school days were highlighted with accomplishment upon accomplishment, but she didn’t stop there. She was a highly sought after recruit, but eventually chose Dayton for multiple reasons.
“The coaches are all intelligent when it comes to soccer, but I think their impact outside of soccer says even more,” Goins said. “They’re all just genuine people who want the best for us players.”
Along with the coaches, Goins loved the feel of UD as a school when she was making her decision. Dayton’s (yes, you guessed it) community made Goins feel accepted instantly.
“The people here are just really nice, everyone is welcoming,” Goins said.
This helped Goins’ transition from high school to college, but playing D1 college athletics is quite the jump from high school. Nevertheless, Goins was able to pick up right where she left off in high school.
“Alexis’ impact was felt from the beginning of the preseason and on,” said head coach Eric Golz. “Her ability to help the team was always felt.”
A lot of the time there is a learning curve that comes with the leap from high school to college, but Goins was able to tackle that right away.
“It was shocking how fast her game translated,” Golz saidi. “We had expectations from what we saw during the recruiting process, but her consistency is something that is rare.”
Goins wasn’t alone in this adaptation process. As a team that started seven freshmen, there was bound to be a transition.
“We are a really young team, talented but could use more experience,” Golz said. “I’m excited about the direction we’re going in.”
Along with the team, Goins will continue to grow and develop into a more experienced player. It is unexpected to bring in a freshman that has such an impact on the team right away, but the coaching staff isn’t taking it for granted.
“Alexis will keep growing as a person and a player and that’s something that excites me,” Golz said. “I think she’s just scratching the surface of the type of player she can be.”
Goins’ freshman performance can also be perceived as a message to young players. No matter what, freshman or fifth-year senior, if you can produce then you will see the field.
“I think Alexis’ season should be reassuring to incoming freshman,” Golz said. “If you’re going to impact the team, if you’re going to be consistent, you are going to play.”
This notion was helpful to Goins at the start of the season. Being a player in a new environment, she was stepping out of her comfort zone.
“My coaches and teammates’ confidence in me made the process easier,” Goins said. “It wasn’t always easy, but I started to feel more comfortable because of the people around me.”
Goins knew it wouldn’t be an effortless progression, but her work made it possible.
“I knew it would be a transition, a ‘work to earn your spot’ process,” Goins said.
With all of her high school and club experience along with her work ethic, Goins was able to have an immediate impact on the team. At the position of attacking-mid, it was necessary for her to be a facilitator as soon as she stepped on the field. Her creativity and high soccer IQ were visible from the start.
“Her vision on the ball and ability to solve pressure are strong points of her game,” Golz said. “She comes to life with the ball at her feet. Her growth into a two-way player has been apparent, too.”
Goins has had an immense impact at attacking-mid, generally the position where the most creative player on the field plays. Knowing whether to pass or to go at defenders is something she specializes in.
In just her first year playing college soccer, Goins earned both first team all-A10 honors and all-rookie honors. Hopefully, Goins’ influence will be pronounced at Dayton in the coming years. She trusts in her teammates and genuinely believes in their bond.
Goins’ freshman year was full of memories, but one stuck out to her more than others.
In the Davidson game, going into half-time down 2-0, Goins said she and her teammates weren’t rattled.
“We came together at half in the locker room and nobody was really worried,” Goins said. “Everyone believed in the win and it showed in the second half.”
The team came out after half-time to score three unanswered goals and secure the win. Goins tallied a goal and assist to help aid Dayton to a comeback victory.
Goins’ admirable freshman season is a glimpse into what the future might hold for the team. The Dayton women’s soccer team has a multitude of positives to take away from their 2019 season, one of which being their rising star, Alexis Goins.