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University of Maine Women’s Soccer Squad - Hallie Lipinski

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Success Beyond the Soccer Field
Womens_soccer_largeHallie Lipinski: A silent leader

Scott Atherley, University of Maine women’s soccer coach, says senior Hallie Lipinski of East Bridgewater, Mass., was the silent leader for the squad that advanced to the semifinal round of the America East Championship for the second consecutive season.

In the contest, Stony Brook edged UMaine on penalty kicks after the teams were knotted 1–1 after two overtimes. The Black Bears finished 9–5–5.

“When I think of the phrase ‘actions speak louder than words,’ I think of Hallie,” Atherley says. “She doesn’t have a lot to say, but the way she goes about her business provides a clear picture relative to living life with integrity. No matter the day, or the task, she always gives her best.”

The Honors student, an animal and veterinary sciences major with a pre-veterinary minor, played back for the Black Bears. She was named to the America East Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and is a Maine Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

Lipinski is one of five seniors on the UMaine women’s soccer squad who attained considerable success in the classroom and on the field in 2013. The scholar-athletes have a combined grade-point average of 3.73 in addition to leading the squad to the America East semifinal round.

“The success of our senior class extends far beyond the soccer field,” says Atherley. “Individually and collectively, they personify the true meaning of student-athlete. The attributes that make them successful on the field are the same ones that have enabled them to excel in the classroom and vice versa. They are all bright, ambitious, disciplined, committed and industrious.”

“For the better part of four years, they have served as the standard of excellence that has become synonymous with our program, on and off of the field,” says the 15-year coach.

“The qualities that they possess as student-athletes are rivaled only by the richness of their character. You would be hard-pressed to find a better group of human beings. We will miss them dearly, but forever remember the significance of their contributions.”

Three of the four years the seniors competed, the squad made it at least as far as the semifinal round of the league playoffs. A year ago, Stony Brook knocked the Black Bears out of contention, topping them 2–1 in an AE semifinal. In 2010, when the Black Bears were first-year players, Boston University bested them 4–0 for the league crown.

Lipinski shares her experience about what it has been like to be a member of the UMaine women’s soccer team and university community.

Age: 21
Hometown: East Bridgewater, Mass.
Course of undergraduate study: Animal science major, pre-vet concentration
GPA: 3.8
Soccer position(s): Defense

Team goal(s) for 2013: To make it to the America East Final

When and why did you begin playing soccer?
I started when I was 4 years old. I started off just playing in recreation leagues for my town when I was young and then moved on to club and other competitive teams as I got older.

Do you have role models?
My parents.

What are your hobbies and interests?
Hanging out with teammates and friends, watching Bruins, Red Sox and Pats games, going to other UMaine sporting events and walking/running with my dog, Duke.

Why did you choose UMaine?
My dad graduated from UMaine so I visited the school many times when I was young. We would come up for football games and I knew UMaine was a great school and the place I’d like to go.

How do you balance academics, sports and other activities?
I budget my time and make sure I’m organized and able to get all my work done. I make checklists so I know when things need to be done by and how I can fit them into my daily schedule.

Has playing a sport shaped your study habits?
My GPA is 3.8 and I think playing a sport has positively affected my study habits. I’ve always had to buckle down to get my work done since I don’t have much free time, so I never really had the opportunity to procrastinate or put things off.

What are some favorite soccer moments?
Senior games vs. Stony Brook, making it to the America East final freshman year, team dinners and other team activities.

What was it like to play for the AE title and host a semifinal?
It was both exciting and scary. It was great to host a semifinal game last year and see how many people from the community came out to support us.

What’s your favorite part of being a student-athlete at UMaine?
The relationships I’ve built with my teammates and others in the athletic community. Everyone is so supportive of one another and it’s really just a great community to be a part of.

How has playing soccer impacted you as a person?
Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to play soccer at the collegiate level. I worked hard to get to where I am today and I know I’ve learned a lot from everything I’ve been through. I’ve seen that nothing ever comes easy and you have to work hard to get what you want from life. Life isn’t always fair, as we learned in the semifinal game vs. Stony Brook, but all these experiences help you grow to be a better person.

Why has this senior group been so successful on and off the field?
We are all really close and have been there for each other 100 percent over the past four years. We’ve had our disagreements but have always had each other’s backs no matter what. We have always been a support system for one another, and I couldn’t imagine four better teammates or friends than Maggie, Nikki, Lisa and Meg.

What advice would you give a student-athlete considering UMaine?
I would say that playing a sport at the Division I level definitely will not be easy. You’re going to have to get up at 6 in the morning for practice, get back late at night from being on the road and still manage to fit in all your schoolwork. Even though it’s a lot of hard work and may not always be the most fun, it’s the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do and being a student athlete helps you grow as a person.

What are your post-graduation plans?
Hoping to go to vet school. I am currently in the application process and am waiting to hear back for interviews.

How did you choose your career path?
I’ve wanted to become a vet since I was really young. I love animals but I also want to work with people and becoming a vet will allow me to work with both on a daily basis. I’ve worked really hard so far in striving to become a vet. Hopefully all this hard work will pay off and I’m accepted to vet school so I can fulfill my dream.

Anything you would like to add?
These past four years have had their ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m so grateful for the experience I’ve had at UMaine and for the four great people I’ve gotten to spend these past four years with. I know that we’ll be lifetime friends and always be Black Bears at heart.


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