Women’s Soccer Senior Spotlight; Stephanie Partenheimer
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior defender Stephanie Partenheimer is one of four seniors on the UNCG women's soccer team. Leading up to Senior Day against Davidson (Oct. 12), UNCGSpartans.com will feature a new senior every home game until then.
Have you always been a defensive player? What excites you about playing central defense? Yes, I have played both in the midfield and the back line. However, I have probably spent most of my time as a central defender. Playing in the back isn't always pretty soccer, but it's always a great feeling to get a shutout at the end of the day.
Being a Leader on this team, what have you told your teammates about conference play? Conference play is never easy. We have 11 tough games, two every weekend for a little over five weeks. It's a hard, long conference season, but we have to mentally and physically commit ourselves to it in order to get everything out of it that we want. It is always worth it in the end when we know we gave everything we could and left it all on the field.
What has been your favorite college soccer memory since being a part of the team? Beating Wake Forest on their home field this year.
Your family has a history in soccer, what interested you the most about the sport and who were your role models? I grew up playing soccer at an early age because my Dad played and loved it so much. My Mom and Dad are both so supportive and always encouraged my sister and me to play or participate in anything we truly loved. Soccer was the one thing that really made me happy. There is no comparable feeling to being a part of a team and that was what soccer did for me. My Dad has always been one of my role models for everything in my life, with soccer certainly being one of them. He never let me give up on anything that I did and always encouraged me to do something because I loved it and had a passion for it.
What was it like playing with your sister Jenn for two seasons? What advice did she teach you about college soccer? I never thought Jenn and I would have played together in college, but it ended up being the best experience ever. Jenn taught me so much about being a good teammate, being a leader, dealing with adversity and many more things that are a part of college soccer. She demonstrated such a great balance of being that loving, encouraging sister that I needed, while also knowing when she needed to push me or rip into me. Jenn is one of the best leaders I know and I continue to look up to her in every aspect of my life.
What are your three keys to being a successful defender? Developing defensive skills such as tackling, heading, and distributing the ball, being composed and able to read the game, and being tough and brave in the back.
If you could start your college career over again what would you change and why? I would take the upperclassman more seriously when they said that it flies by and that every game matters. I had such a different perspective my freshman year compared to now. You can't take any game back or any season back, and you want to leave here and finish this experience knowing that you put everything you had into it.
What are your career aspirations after college? I'm not exactly sure what I want to do at this point, but I know I want to eventually attend graduate school and do something I'm really passionate about.