SOMERVILLE – Senior co- captain Alexa Pius leads the team into a competitive October with her skills from in the classroom and out on Kraft Field based on the way she was grown up and built as a student-athlete.
|Senior Alexa Pius is looking to have a winning October with the Jumbos|
Pius is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in biopsychology while playing on the Tufts University Women's Soccer Team.
Pius represents the Jumbos as one of the captains in the 2016 season with Robin Estus. Pius is currently in her senior year at Tufts while enjoying the experience with her teammates and friends as a women's soccer player.
"Tufts Athletics has taught me how to excel in an extremely competitive environment," Pius said. "Every day I have the opportunity to compete against exceptional athletes in an environment that challenges you to raise your own standards. With such opportunity comes heightened responsibility and Tufts Athletics has shown me how to balance my responsibilities on and off the field."
"Alexa has helped the team chemistry of our team by creating a culture where everyone feels valued. She creates a very united atmosphere," said Head Coach Martha Whiting.
The Vermont-native has received a lot of expectations from the team as a captain. Pius accomplished those goals by being successful in college athletics and her life.
In freshman year, Pius missed only one game out of the 16 games throughout the season. In 2013, she registered two assists for the offense.
"Since her freshman year, Alexa has been the embodiment of determination, hard work and confidence," Coach Whiting said. "She also possessed the qualities of a great leader and I think that has been where she has matured the most. She was able to find her voice as a leader and has found ways to inspire her teammates to play with the determination and desire that she brings to the field every day."
Pius was designated to play on defense sophomore year when she started all 16 games and submitted one assist. She helped sophomore goalie Eileen McGarry to keep away shots which totaled a 1.44 goals against average.
As a junior, Pius played in 16 total games with two assists. She was part of a defense that resulted in an improved 1.08 goals against average. In her senior year, she received her captainship from Coach Whiting and her teammates. A personal best for the team, goalie Emily Bowers has brought in a 0.98 goals against average this year with the contribution of Pius and the Jumbos' defense.
Pius led the team to a second straight NESCAC Quarterfinal game in her junior year. In her sophomore year, the team recorded a 7-7-2 record when getting bumped off by Bowdoin in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. As a freshman, Pius helped the team to set a winning record of 9-7 to advance to the NESCAC Championship Semi-Final against Middlebury which ended in a 2-1 loss.
Outside of the field, Pius' dream job is to be an orthopedic surgeon. She is active in Tufts Athletics' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Teamwork is everything in college sports. Bonding within the sport and the team is what the Jumbos are all about.
"One of my favorite parts of my job is watching the young women I coach mature as people over the course of their four years," Coach Whiting said. "Alexa has grown into a very confident young woman who knows who she is, what she wants and how to create a plan of attack to reach her goals. It's been fun to watch her grow."
Pius grew up in the town of Essex Junction, Vermont where she found the love of soccer there. Before Tufts, Pius played soccer, tennis and ran indoor and outdoor track at Essex High School. She earned ten varsity letters and was a five-time captain during her time at Essex while being selected as a All-State first team and All-Metro first team for soccer in 2011 and 2012. As a former member of Nordic Soccer club, she helped the team to win three state championship in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Pius was a member of the National Honor Society in high school in 2012 and 2013 which she won the bronze medal for the National Spanish Exam in 2011.
"Nordic Soccer has taught me that my teammates are my best friends," she continued." The girls that I played with in Nordic Soccer, are the girls I grew up with, and they are still my best friends to this day. When I got to Tufts, I realized that sort of camaraderie, that sense of family, isn't the norm on most club teams. I have always sought to create a team modeled of the team I grew up with, where we are selfless and trust each other 100 percent. This is easier said than done, but after four years, I think we have achieved that with this year's Tufts Women's Soccer team."
Pius returns home with the Jumbos to play Middlebury on Saturday October 8 where her friends and family from Vermont will be there for support. Her choice to attend Tufts has worked out well, and she had words of advice for others making their college choices.
"Work hard and do the things that other people aren't willing to do," Pius said. "There are no shortcuts to success in athletics or in the classroom. Also, use all of your resources and minimize distractions."
Written by Ryan Small, Tufts Athletic Communications Intern