Ana Petropoulos brings a unique caliber of play to every game. That’s because the Case Western Reserve University women’s soccer team midfielder is a Division I talent at a Division III school. She spent her first year of undergraduate schooling at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and transferred to CWRU just this year. She has started all 12 of the Spartans’ matches, knocking in two goals and adding two assists, while that number will only grow before the women’s soccer team will close out their season on Nov. 4.
It is not everyday that Division III teams can add great talent through transfer, but the women’s soccer team was lucky enough to add Petropulos. She said that she had to consider many factors before her transfer. Among them, CWRU has a much larger focus on academics than UMass Lowell, Cleveland is her hometown and her father even earned his Ph.D. from CWRU. Petropoulos also happily noted that her first semester has gone quite well, as she receives support from both her coaches and her parents.
Petropoulos’ love of her team has made the transition even easier.
“Everybody gets along really well, everyone respects each other and we just care about each otherーnot just as teammates, but more like friends and even sisters,” she said.
Each position on the team plays a vital role to overall success, and Petropoulos has learned that quite rapidly because of her position change. Growing up, she always played defense, but after coming back from a few ACL injuries she began playing midfield. The position clicked, and she fit well with the rest of the team, so she has continued at midfield.
Petropoulos credits her passion for soccer to her older brother, with whom she started playing when she was just three years old. She explained that she felt the need to continue playing because she was naturally talented at the game. She has watched a lot of soccer over the years as well, naming Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd as her favorite players. Today, she continues to love the game because of her team, and it also serves as a great stress reliever.
Petropoulos was previously a biomedical engineering major at UMass Lowell, but because of the massive time commitment and a change in interests, she changed to an economics finance major. In being an economics finance major, Petropoulos gets to chase her new passion of law. She also has greater time flexibility, which is key, because she previously was missing classes at UMass Lowell due to soccer. She is also a commuter from half an hour away, which further impacts her free time. Time is a valuable commodity for her. As much as Petropoulos would like to get involved in other extracurriculars, it is extremely difficult due to the time commitment.
Despite playing for the women’s soccer team, attending an academically rigorous school, and commuting every day, Petropoulos thoroughly appreciates every moment.