Athlete close-up: Spencer Valdespino

The Nicholls State University Colonels women soccer team is well into the 2014 season and for junior Spencer Valdespino, another great season is expected from the Colonel standout.

Valdespino, mass communication major, had a record-breaking season in the Colonels 2013 campaign, crushing single and career season records. Along with leading the Southland Conference in shots, shots per game, shots on goal and shots on goal per game last season, Valdespino managed to set the Nicholls women’s soccer team single season record for points, points per game, and goals per game. Valdespino also became second all-time in goals per game in her sophomore year. To cap off her sophomore year, Valdespino was awarded Southland Conference Player of the Year, Louisiana Sports Writer Association Player of the Year, National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NCSAA) second team All-Region, and was named Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week three times. As a junior, she holds the Nicholls career record for points per game, assist per game, goals per game, shots per game, and shots on goal per game.

Head coach Dylan Harrison led the team to its best season in team history last season and Valdespino is a huge attribute to the team’s winning environment.
“In terms of a go-to type of player who doesn’t shy away from the spotlight in big games, she has embraced that role,” Coach Harrison said.

In a small town Springhill, Florida, soccer isn’t considered a popular sport.
“I played on a recreation team until I was 13 years old, so I basically I played for fun,” Valdespino said. Her high school, Bishop McLaughlin Catholic, was made up of about 175 students total, with Valdespino’s graduation class being about 40 students.

“Our soccer team was just 11 girls who wanted to have fun, so for the most part I would just have fun because it wasn’t enough competition within the area,” Valdespino said.

Valdespino also played softball and golf all four years of high school. She was a three time 1st team all-district golfer, and also won 1st team all-state honors in softball her senior year at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High.

Balancing out being a student athlete is what she finds to be somewhat difficult.
“Freshman year was easy for me, but now going into my core classes, managing soccer and school becomes more difficult both requiring more work and time.” Valdespino believes her biggest accomplishment outside of soccer would be earning a degree.

“Some goals of mine are to earn a degree in journalism and also having a substantial job within five years of graduating. That would be nice!” Valdespino said.
Valdespino’s biggest dream is to play soccer professionally.

“Depending on how my collegiate career plays out, it would be nice to play pro soccer.” Valdespino said.

“We all have that big dream of playing in a professional soccer league, if I am feeling, why not I guess I’ll try it out,” Valdespino said.

After she graduates, Valdespino wants to try out for a women’s professional team in Seattle.