Soccer player succeeds on the field and in the classroom


Junior Lindsey Dias winds up to kick the ball in a game last semester. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

It’s a special feeling to be able to put on your school’s uniform and lace up your cleats before stepping out onto the soccer field.

However, there is also something to be said about holding the third highest GPA for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division I and Division II Scholar All-West Region team.

Balancing school and sports is something junior women’s soccer player Lindsey Dias is very familiar with. In high school Dias tried to balance two sports, but quickly came to realize it was hard to maintain a good GPA.

“I played varsity soccer all four years and then I tried out for the volleyball team my sophomore year. I eventually found that balancing one sport with school was hard enough so I stuck to soccer,” Dias said.

Junior Lindsey Dias heads the ball during a game last semester. Photo credit: Allisun Coote


Chico State recruited Dias her junior year in high school, but it was not just the excitement of playing college soccer that drew her to be a Wildcat.

“When I started looking at schools I only looked at ones that had both a high level soccer team and a good nursing program. Chico had both, and I love the coaching staff and the team,” Dias said.

Moving from a high school athlete to a college level athlete can be scary and challenging. Staying extremely organized right from the beginning of the semester is something that will help you succeed, Dias said.

Professors are the most important part of your academic career so being on good terms with them is also very important.

“Being upfront about the days and things you will be missing has helped me a lot. I find professors are much more accommodating if I give them a heads up on my crazy schedule,” Dias said.

That being said, the coaching staff also puts a high emphasis on academics with several different ways to maintain their current standing as having the highest cumulative GPA average out of all the women’s sports teams.

Junior Lindsey Dias Photo credit: Chico Wildcats


Head Coach Kim Sutton explained the evolution of the culture of soccer from when she started 15 years ago until now.

“Today we seek to recruit students with higher GPAs. This influences other players to work harder because we are all competitive and strive to be the best,” Sutton said.

The coaching staff has come up with two main things that the girls must do in their academic lives.

“The girls must show up to class and we use a rule called ‘front row joe,’ requiring them to sit in the first two rows of the classroom,” Sutton said. “We also offer optional study hall hours they can attend if they want to.”

Sutton said Dias is a very bright and academically driven student.

“For a returning player like Lindsey we work around her academic schedule,” Sutton said. “We understand that school comes first and soccer is secondary.”

This upcoming semester and season will be a test for them all as Dias is now a full-time nursing student.

Esther Briggs can be reached at [email protected] or @estherbriggs191 on Twitter