Putting in the effort
by Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor
Photos: Austin Peay Athletics
Sometimes it happens when you least expect it.
In the world of recruiting it ins’t as much as you finding a school, as a school finds you. They may be at a show case and see you play. Or, they have heard about you from other players and coaches.
When a school reaches out it gives the player food for thought. It gives them a chance to take a look at something that they may have not thought about before.
For Austin Peay soccer player Jisela Dall that’s kind of how it happened when it came to her recruiting. She was touring other schools during her sophomore and junior season when Austin Peay, located in Tennessee, took notice at the skills of the Rochester native.
The rest you could say is history.
“Austin Peay reached out to me after one of my ECNL events with the Western New Flash,” stated Dall. “I came down for my first visit and I really liked the campus. It just felt like a right vibe for me. It was a smaller campus. Even though it’s so far from home, I still felt like I could fit in nicely. I, also, liked the fact that is was close to Nashville. So, I ended coming here for another camp, and visit, and fell in love with it.”
For Dall traveling wasn’t an issue. In fact she was used to it. During her time with the Western New York Flash, Dall was always on the road - at least it seemed that way. She had to make the commitment early to be par tot the Flash.
She knew it wasn’t going to be easy. That meant taking the hour and twenty drive, in good weather, from Rochester every day to Western New York for practice and games. It allowed her to learn about what it would take to be able to manage her time well.
It meant doing homework, and studying, while on the car ride to Buffalo and back to Rochester. It meant not seeing friends as much as she had to make the commitment to soccer. It was a lot for a teenager to handle at times.
“It was a lot,” stated Dall. “I spent my first couple of years in high school actually driving to Binghamton for practice, so Buffalo wasn’t be bad in the end. My sister also plays for the Flash, so we often went to together. It was a lot of work trying to balance school and soccer, but I think it helped me get prepared for college to - and time management.”
The car rides to and from Rochester helped Dall manage her time, which is a good thing because she is a nursing major while at Austin Peay. That isn’t exactly an easy major to be in while trying to balance games, practice and school work all at the same time.
There have been times during her first couple of years where Dall may have had to miss a practice, or show up late, because of something she had to do for her major. It has made her realize how important academics is, and how important it is to really be able to time manage.
“I am a nursing major, which is really hard to do with soccer because you have to work clinics,” stated Dall. “I have to do my homework on the bus a lot, or as soon as I get it. We practice and do weight and team exercise a ton. So, it’s really important that I am really on top of my school work. I have to make sure I am prioritizing me school (work) and getting it done. Because, I do have to miss practice sometimes for my clinics and school. I think it’s about finding the right balance for you, and making sure that I can write down my schedule prior to - so I can have a designated time for everything.”
On the field is has been rough for Dall to get her footing as a starter - something that she was in high school. In high school you never saw Dall being taken off the field. She was the go-to player for her highs school team.
Even with the Flash, Dall was looked upon to the lead the team - and her teammate would look to her whenever they needed a big play.
College is a different animal. Everyone whole is recruited to play in college is the best on their team. Finding your role in college is the first step to survival. Once you find that role, the college experience isn't that bad.
Dall has had to find that role with Austin Peay. Instead of being a regular starter, she is making her mark when she comes off the bench.
“My freshman year is was a little bit difficult for me making that transition because I was always used to be being a major impact player for my team,” stated Dall. “I went from starting on all my teams, and being a leader, to just coming off the bench for just a few minutes. So, it was definitely a hard adjustment for me. It has taught me how everyone has played a role on the team. Yours might be small, but it can still have an impact.”
It’s never easy coming off bench, either. Those who come of the bench are wanting to make a statement right away. With that being said, there are times that trying to hard can lead to mistakes.
It’s trying to be in the right mindset, which is most important. Having the right mindset for that role has helped Dall succeed - and has gotten her some starts this past season.
“So, I had a tough time transitioning, but I definitely got used to it, and I worked real hard where I could get more minutes - and actually start games now,” stated Dall. “I just work as hard as I can. My thought when I get in is just do the best as I can, and try to stay in for longer. If I do everything that I can possible do, and I work as hard as I possible can, than I think it’s worth it for me. I’m not trying to prove anything to anyone else. I am just trying to work as hard as I can.”