Having good balance gives soccer players an edge. It helps them maintain control of the ball, push past other players, change direction, and — if needed — recover. Good players understand that everything is in continual motion during play and maintaining a center of balance is critical.
These lessons apply as much to life off the field as on it, and they’re lessons that Sam Kokoska knows well. The bioengineering (BioE) senior has been on the UW Women’s Soccer team since arriving on campus in 2015. She’s been named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first team twice. Last year she was one of three finalists for the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar of the Year Award, an honor recognizing student athletes nationwide who excel on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
This year — her senior year —a knee injury forced Kokoska to sit out the entire season. Instead of giving into frustration, she chose to pursue new opportunities. “Because of my injury, I’ve had more time to volunteer and develop leadership and teaching skills,” she says. “And that’s been great.”
The College of Engineering recently talked with Kokoska about making time for her many passions: engineering, soccer, mentoring and service.
The key to it all? Balance.