By Monique Bowman, Digital Media
“I wasn’t ready to give it up yet.”
That was Selina Vickery’s epiphany three years ago as a high school senior playing her final games at Friendswood High School in Texas. She wasn’t ready to give up soccer—a game she says she’s played since she could walk.
“My family and dad were a big part of my soccer journey, coaching me and helping me fall in love with the sport,” Selina said.
“I got to my senior year of high school thinking I was done with soccer—thinking I had gave it my all and I was ready to move on.”
But she wasn’t.
Selina spent most of her adolescence dedicated to the pitch. As a member of SCFC ’98, she played in the 2014 National Premier League (NPL) Championship, and was a member of the 2015 and 2016 NPL South-Central Regional Championship teams. In high school, she was a four-year starter, earned All-State honors in 2014, and named County MVP and All-Greater Houston team member in 2015 and 2016. She also led the team in scoring those years.
Realizing she wanted to continue to play competitively, Selina got to work looking for her next step.
“I contacted my club coach and miraculously was able to walk on here [at Ohio State] with the help of the coaching staff here and everyone giving me a chance.”
Alongside her duties with the Ohio State women’s soccer team, the junior midfielder is also balancing a rigorous academic schedule as a neuroscience major. Selina is maintaining a 4.0 major grade-point average, a
feat which has earned her an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete (2016, 2017) and Academic All-Big Ten (2017) nods.
“I knew I wanted to go pre-med, and I was really interested in psychology and how the brain works with response from the body. Ohio State is one of the few schools that has a distinguished neuroscience program and I was really excited about that.”
Selina says she can see what she’s learning in the classroom in her own experiences as an athlete. “I can see how people respond to each other, the way we can bring each other up and encourage each other—I can see that coming from the classroom. I’ve also noticed what we’ve learned in the textbook about how people respond to certain actions, reactions and injuries.”
Juggling a perfect GPA along with responsibilities to the women’s soccer team is not easy. But for Selina, it’s a labor of love of sorts. Her advice to other student-athletes trying to figure it all out: “Make sure you’re committed to a study that you love and you’re not just forcing yourself to be there. Then it’ll be enjoyable spending more time studying and it won’t be so much of a chore.”
She’s a long way from her home in Friendswood, Texas, but the Buckeye State wasn’t foreign to her. Her dad and his side of the family are from Ohio. Her older sister also went to school here. She has also made her own path at Ohio State.
“If I could describe my experience in one word, it would be ‘family.’ It’s a huge community, but you can find your own spot in it and that becomes your family.”