SVFC Alumni Update

It’s almost playoff time for the college athletes nationwide, and our SVFC alumni catches up with us about their journey thus far... 

Gianluca Trofa – Harvard University 

College has been different for me than high school. College soccer is a lot faster and more physical. The talent and level is definitely higher at the collegiate level, but it shares a resemblance with high school in that whichever team wants it the most normally come out on top with the result. College soccer is also much more demanding time wise, as soccer takes up 5-7 hours of your day. 

I haven’t gotten to play yet but have been working hard every day. I’m ready at any moment to get a shot and prove myself. Love the team and the environment, but at the same time I separate myself when I work to try and outwork everyone else. Practices are very detailed, a lot of reps, high intensity, not a lot of downtime.

Advice for incoming Freshman:

Come in expecting things not to go right and be ready to bounce back and overcome hurdles to better yourself. Don’t come in thinking you’re all that because you will be put in your place. Work hard, be humble, and patient. 

Mathew Tanzer – Emory College

College is going well so far. I like it a lot. The work is definitely harder, and you have to manage your time a lot better since you have way more time, with less of a structure.

Soccer has been good. I’ve been fortunate to be playing in the games. The games are definitely very intense, but it’s exciting being a part of them. You have to be on your toes to make quick decisions and be able to adapt to different situations that you may face throughout the game. 

The practice environment is good. Everyone is working hard because every day you’re fighting to either keep your win a spot in the next game’s lineup. It’s all about competing every day, so that you put yourself in the best position to play.

Advice for incoming Freshman:

I would tell other SoccerViza players, and any player playing out there, to work hard in training right now and establish habits that will remain with them throughout college (if they choose to play). I would also recommend for them to not give up no matter what comes their way because sometimes, it won’t be easy, but as long as you stick to it and remain focused, results and opportunities should present themselves.

Lance Garcia – Western Connecticut State University 

College, in a nutshell, is independence, organization, and discipline. You’re going to figure out your own schedule that works for your day in and day out grind. You’re going to have to stick with it in order to succeed. College is fun, way better than high school, in my opinion, as long as you stay on track you will be in good shape. 

Quitting soccer was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. It hurt me a lot because I was stopping something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember. Although I still have the same love for the game, I had to set it aside and focus on my other priorities in life -- school and my family's well-being. I do, in fact, plan on playing again, hopefully in the near future with God by my side. 

Throughout these last couple of months, I've been working two jobs and working towards helping my parents out. Most importantly, I'm also going to school right now. That’s my number one priority now because through school, is the only way my checks are going to get bigger. That’s my ‘day in and day out grind’. 

Advice for incoming Freshman: 

For the kids out there going through the same path, just remember life is a grind. Always go for something bigger and better while staying ambitious. Everything is going to work out as long as you never give up and take pride in everything you do. 

Austin Sholes – Washington & Lee University

College great, I like it a lot. The speed of play is faster, and the game is a lot more physical. I have played almost every game and have, so far, started in 5 games. The games are intense and a lot of fun. The practice environment is intense and competitive as everyone is trying to get playing time.

Advice for incoming Freshman:

I would tell them to get good grades in high school and keep working hard in soccer.

Iovanni Robledo – Albertus Magnus

College is harder than high school. The teachers aren’t as helpful, and the workload feels like its tripled. On the upside, you have a lot of free time so if you get your work done, you can have lots of free time to do hobbies, train, or do whatever you’re into. 

Soccer is going well. I only get a little bit of playing time because the two starting center backs right now are senior captains and very good players, so I don’t really play my original position -- center back. I’ve only gone in at center defensive midfield. 

Getting into your first collegiate game feels much different than high school. It feels like there is more pressure to do well. The game is played at a much faster pace and so if your touch isn’t “on” at all times you won’t get much playing time in college.

During practice, I have to work hard. If I'm not going 110%, they make the team or myself do fitness. If you mess up any drill or instruction, fitness is used at discipline as well. They don’t tolerate much weaknesses to the team.

I like college. It has formed me into a young adult and made me more mature. I don’t have to rely on my parents as much and I'm sure me being independent helps them quite a bit.

Advice for incoming freshman:

Just work hard. If you aren’t practicing at your best, then you won’t play a game at your best. You won’t get better unless you put in the work.

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