First-year defender Maria Prokos is enjoying her first season as a member of the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team. Prokos loves spending time with and getting to know her teammates. She also has a unique history with the game she now plays at the collegiate level. As a first-year student, she is looking to get involved with clubs that reflect her values, faith and love of food.
Q: What is your favorite part of being on the soccer team? Why?
A: My favorite part about being on the soccer team is definitely the people. It is really nice
to be around teammates who share the same passion for athletics, but also have
prevalent and prioritized academic goals. It motivates me to see all the amazing things
they accomplish on the field while also excelling in their studies and being active
members of the campus community.
Q: Where did you get your passion for soccer? Any good stories?
A: I first started playing soccer in kindergarten, and I initially hated it. My mom had signed
me up and for the first few weeks I was miserable. Eventually, I discovered that I was
super competitive and loved to win, so soccer started to become more fun. It has played
such an integral and developmental role in my life ever since and helped me not only
stay active but handle pressure situations, network and practice my time management
Q: Do you have any games that you remember being particularly special? Why?
A: One of my favorite games was during a futsal tournament. I’m a defender, but in futsal
the court is a lot smaller, so it allows for more opportunity for defenders to get involved in
the attack. I scored the most goals in the tournament, and my team ended up winning the
entire thing. It was awesome to feel like I was contributing to the team’s success and to
gain a new offensive perspective.
My favorite game at CWRU so far was our first home game (and win) against John Carroll University. It is still crazy to me that I am able to represent my school at the collegiate level. Being in my uniform on DiSanto Field for the first time was such a special moment and made me so grateful for all of my opportunities I have been given and the faith Head Coach Tiffany Crooks has in me.
Q: Aside from soccer, what else are you involved in on campus? Can you explain your role?
A: Since I’m only a freshman, I’m still trying to explore everything CWRU has to offer.
Some clubs that I’m excited to participate in are the Food Recovery Network, which
works to reduce hunger and food waste, and also the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
Club which is a community that seeks to help members grow and explore their faith and
spirituality. I also hope to be a CWRU wellness ambassador during my next four years.
Q: Why are you majoring in nutrition? What interests you about it?
A: I love how nutrition intertwines food with health and wellness. Growing up, food has
always played a huge role in my life because my dad owns a restaurant. Throughout my
childhood I spent a substantial amount of time at my dad’s job; watching him cook,
helping him take inventory in the giant refrigerators and eating. I also was very active
and played a lot of sports from a young age. As I got older, I started to become more
health conscious and was fascinated with what foods would help me achieve my best
performance as an athlete. I love the effect food can have on the body and appreciate
how relevant nutrition is to a healthy lifestyle.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your degree?
A: I am hoping to get involved with sports nutrition and also find a way to practice nutrition
in the context of public health, potentially at even an international level. Additionally, I am
also interested in the industry aspect and think I would enjoy working for a food company
in order to help health-conscious consumers and advocate for increased nutritional
quality in ingredients and production processes.
Q: What are your favorite free time activities? Why?
A: My favorite free time activities are anything outdoors and reading. I always feel a sense
of invigoration in nature and being outside always seems to make my day better. I enjoy
reading because I love the creativity in stories, and I’m also a complete nerd.
Q: What is your favorite quote, or what inspires you?
A: One of my favorite quotes is “let your faith be bigger than your fear.” It reminds me that
no matter whatever challenge or obstacle I am facing that there is a purpose behind my
struggle and that I will be okay.