When Geneva Strelka came to Youngstown State University on a recruiting visit, she was extremely nervous.
But her nerves calmed quickly.
“The team really helped me settle into soccer and school, and the balance for everything,” Strelka said. “Everything ended up working out, and now I am graduating, and life is good.”
Strelka said the only reason she decided to attend YSU was that recruiting visit.
“I was so nervous to come and meet everyone, but they were so welcoming and so nice. It was completely unlike any other place I visited,” Strelka said. “That’s what sealed the deal for me.”
It didn’t hurt that her best friend since seventh grade, fellow teammate Kelsey Kempton, also decided to play soccer for the Penguins.
“We didn’t decide to play at YSU together; it just sort of happened that way,” Kempton said. “As college went on, we grew closer together. It was definitely one of the best things to be able to play soccer with her.”
In her YSU career, Strelka played in 71 games and started in 52. She scored seven goals. However, Strelka said the records don’t show how well the team has been doing in her time at YSU.
“When I first got here, we were losing games by a lot more than what we are now,” Strelka said. “Every game we play is close, and we are right there with the other team. We just needed to work on our finishing.”
Kempton said Strelka is one of the most gifted offensive players she has ever played with.
“She is a very skilled player,” Kempton said. “She is such a hard worker and just has a great mind for the game.”
Aside from being a talented soccer player, Kempton said no one is better to talk to if you are looking for a laugh.
“She is easily my funniest friend,” Kempton said. “She is such a good-hearted person and just knows how to make people feel better if they are down.”
Strelka is graduating on May 19 with a major in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. But she said she is pursuing something completely different.
“I am actually looking to be a pharmacy technician right now,” Strelka said. “It has nothing to do with my major, but it just interests me, so that’s what I am pursuing.” Strelka already has interviews set up, which she is hoping go well.
“I already had an informal interview with Giant Eagle Pharmacy, and I am setting up a formal interview with them after I graduate, and hopefully I get that job,” Strelka said. “I have turned in my resume to other places, too.”