Athlete of the Week: Ava Gizzie ’27

Swarthmore Athletics

Ava Gizzie ’27, a first-year from New Canaan, CT, is unstoppable on offense for No. 18-ranked Swarthmore women’s soccer. The forward initiated the Garnet’s scoring against Ursinus College on Saturday afternoon, blasting the ball into the net from twenty yards out. The Garnet beat the Ursinus Bears 4-1 for their fifth-straight conference win. Gizzie also had an assist in the Garnet’s match against No. 8-ranked Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday night, leading to a 1-1 tie against the defending national champions.

Gizzie has a total of ten goals and five assists, posting a near-perfect scoring average (.909) in the team’s eleven games. A Centennial Offensive Player of the Week (Sept. 26), they lead the conference in shots (68), shots on goal (36), and total points (25). They rank second in goals scored due only to fewer games played. The rookie’s firepower has been integral to the Garnet’s success, as the Garnet remain undefeated this season. Swarthmore faces Dickinson College next on Saturday night at Clothier Field.

Sophia Vesely: Can you tell us about the team’s win against Ursinus College this weekend?

Ava Gizzie: The game versus Ursinus had high energy throughout, and it was pretty invigorating out there on the field. We came out strong off of their kickoff and worked on high-pressing and shutting down their attacks. We dominated the game from early on and possessed the ball well, creating lots of chances. Once we put one goal in, we did not stop creating chances, and we did a great job of finishing them. I think we did a great job of incorporating our strategies from training into our play. It felt pretty rewarding to see the stuff that we have been working on for a while pay off in a game scenario. It was a really fun match to be a part of.  

SV: How did it feel to tally your tenth goal of the season?

AG: It feels great to be able to contribute to the team, but without the help of the rest of my coaches and teammates, none of my goals would have happened. In the end though, it’s about doing well as a team; the mentality of tallying more goals individually is really within the context of a team sport. So far in my first college season, I have been having a really fun time, and with the collective effort of the team, I think it’s just about continuing to work towards the goals that we have set. 

SV: What are some of the team’s goals for the season?

AG; We have a lot of goals this season, but they include wanting to qualify for the NCAAs and win the Conference Championship. I’m confident that if we keep working hard and buying into the mentality, we can do that. 

SV: What are some of your personal goals for the season?

AG: I just want to keep working hard in practice and games, getting 1% better every day (which is a team goal as well), and I think it would be cool to be the top scorer in the Centennial Conference for the season. 

SV: Which game are you looking forward to most this season, and why?

AG: I’m really looking forward to the Haverford game, which is our last regular season game. I think it’s going to be a great day to see some family and friends and even play against some old teammates from high school. Hopefully my friends from back home will have the chance to watch. I’ve had this game marked in my calendar since we graduated.

SV: Do you have any pre- or post-game rituals?

AG: I try to keep the rituals to a minimum. The only thing I really do without fail before games is listen to my music, and there are some specific foods I like to eat. Once we get the team prep going, I like to just focus on being lighthearted, enjoying the music and the energy. Good energy is all I need to get ready to play. After a game, it is pretty basic, but I like sleeping. 

SV: Why did you choose Swarthmore, and what are you studying?

AG: I chose Swarthmore because of the arboretum, the wide array of academic disciplines that I could explore, and the soccer team. I’m undecided for now, but I’m thinking about psychology and/or cognitive science. I’m pretty interested in a wide variety of subjects though; I also like art, English, and gender and sexuality studies.  

SV: What is your favorite Dining Center bar?

AG: Mediterranean bar 100% and sometimes vegan bar.

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