Contrary to popular belief, soccer is not merely about scoring goals. The majority of players have a specific role they must fill to achieve certain formations that may lead to a goal.
For Andrea Radice, the foundation of her game is focused on what goes on while most people are not watching. Radice, the junior forward/midfielder from Hialeah, began playing soccer when she was five years old.
Starting soccer at such an early age gives a player like Radice an edge because the game becomes like second nature. Radice can start seeing a play develop away from the ball, helping her predict where the next move may be in hopes of scoring.
Radice continued to play in high school for American Heritage, where as a senior she led her team to an astounding 30-1 record.
“[At American Heritage] I had amazing teammates; the team chemistry was perfect,” she said.
Before coming to UM, Radice participated in the Olympic Development Program. The program featured the best high school soccer players in Florida.
“[At the Olympic Development Center] I had some of the best coaching, it was highly competitive and I was able to see some of the best players in Florida and who I was up against,” Radice said.
In 2001 Radice decided to enroll at the University of Miami because of the weather and the fact that it was close to her home in Hialeah.
“There is a huge jump [between high school and college soccer],” Radice said. “It requires more fitness, body strength, and toughness.”
Since joining the ‘Canes, Radice has used her perception to excel at the college level. As a freshman she totaled five points for the year and last year she improved her point total to eight. Radice also came through in the clutch for the ‘Canes, scoring a goal and a game-winning assist against Louisiana Tech.
“I feel great scoring. I feel good whoever is scoring. It gets us closer to winning a match,” she said.
Radice is currently fifth on the team with three points on the season. She has always seen the game differently than others and helps keep the game close to give the Hurricanes a chance to win. Currently Miami is 7-5 overall, with the majority of its games left against the Big East.
“There are a lot of Big East games left, I want to make sure that we come out first,” Radice said.
From this point in the season, Radice has to continue to contribute in ways that don’t show up in the final box score. Her presence on the team helps contribute to a positive team atmosphere, a trait she has carried with her since high school.
“The team chemistry is great on and off the field and we just want to work on our consistency,” she said.
Radice is a rare athlete that looks at her sport with a team-first mentality. She has become a leader for a young team. For Radice, soccer has never been about personal glory, only winning.
When asked what she will take from the game of soccer into her future, Radice examined how the sport has made her a better person.
“The ability to get along with people, hard work, and dedication of people [aiming] for the same goal,” she said.
Spencer Weinkle can be reached at Fontier34@aol.com