Name: Paige Soper
School: Ohio State
Years on A-team: I’m proud to say I’ve made the A-team all 3 years…that’s because we only have one team!
Height: 5’4″ in cleats
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH (‘the nasti’)
Major: Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing
Graduating: Class of 2013 (May)
When and where did you start playing ultimate? Who recruited you?
I started playing in the fall when I was a sophomore at Ohio State. My friend literally dragged me to the practices because she wanted to check out ‘ultimate’, so I decided to go despite already being involved in other club sports. I actually didn’t like the first weeks of practices (because I was terrible!!!!), but I stuck with it and that ended up being Fever’s first year ever making it to Nationals! The fact that this team provided me with 20+ instant friends was definitely why I stuck with it.
What does the Callahan award mean to you?
When I first learned what this award was, I thought to myself, you have to be reallyyyyy good to be get this. I envision it as an award given to someone who has a lot of talent, leadership, enthusiasm, spirit, and play-making ability, but also a team player. I also think it should go to someone who is passionate about ultimate and wants to grow the sport and share their knowledge with others.
What does it mean to you to be nominated by your teammates?
Last year I was nominated, and I thought that the email wasn’t supposed to go to me. I was so confused, and I didn’t tell anyone for at least a couple of days. This year was less of a surprise, but still quite the honor. It’s such a a great feeling to have my whole team, players and coaches, behind me and supporting me through these 3 years.
What are your goals for this season?
We are hoping to make it to Nationals and get as far as possible. We’re shooting for the top this year and hoping for the best! First we have to win Regionals, and then I can discuss Nationals. If we fall short, I just hope we play our hearts out; I wouldn’t give up these moments for anything.
How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your favorite plays to make?
I’m one of our main handlers on the team. I like to move the disc fast and spread the field both wide and deep. I love defense because it’s much more rewarding, but you have to score to win the game. My favorite play is anything that involves a layout, O or D. Give-and-go’s are also so fun!
What was your favorite moment of this season?
I am the worst person to ask about favorite moments because I have a terrible memory. The worst moment was having a stomach bug at Centex; that was TERRIBLE. But we went pretty darn far the next day all the way to the finals; that was a bit surreal being our first time at Centex. Another hilarious moment: one time at practice, our coach was trying to explain popping in a zone to our team. He was talking and trying to go through the motions and as he is jogging he doesn’t see me tying my shoe. So he proceeds to fall over me, tumble, and keep talking as if nothing happened. Nice try, Brent!
What is your favorite part of being on your college team?
Seeing all my best friends at least 3 times a week! I love being stuck in the car with people and finding out the weirdest things about them. And getting free food from people who live in the dorms (I’m serious).
What’s your favorite in-season workout?
I like doing crossfit workouts because they are generally pretty short and insanely hard. Aside from that, our coaches love to make us do tabatas.
How has your college career been impacted by injury?
Personally, I’ve only had minor injuries. I had a pulled quad after the U-23 tryouts and missed a day at QCTU, and I had a stomach virus at Centex and missed a few games. Our team in general seems to always have a few injuries. My other captain, Cassie Swafford, broke her ankle and tore ligaments in July of last summer and is just now getting back into playing. There have been other nagging injuries with knees, backs, muscles, etc. pretty much every year. It gives the younger players a chance to step up and show us what they’ve got.
What’s your club experience? How is playing club different than college?
I played 1 year on BaHa (a women’s team) and 1 year on Santa Maria (mixed). Club is where you learn to play at a higher level and get better, and I’d like to believe that playing for those two summers has made me a better player. It has at least taught me how to play with different teammates and under leadership.
Are you graduating after this season? What are your summer/career plans?
Unfortunately, I have to graduate. I’m driving across the country this summer with some friends, going on vacation with my family, and then attending the U-23 World’s tournament. After that, I will get a nursing job somewhere else besides Ohio, and then go back to grad school in a couple of years to be a Nurse Practitioner.
I like jokes, so here you go:
What did baby corn say to mama corn?
Where’s a popcorn??
Super lame, but I still laugh.