Sunday, May 28, 2023

Goalie keeps team sharp, enjoys ride

November 3, 2009


Editor’s note: This is the first in a series this week highlighting the women’s soccer seniors.

Danielle Petri only has totaled 25 minutes and 11 seconds in the net for the MSU women’s soccer team during her time as a Spartan.

But head coach Tom Saxton believes that’s what makes the fifth-year senior goalie so important to the Spartans.

“Sometimes we lose sight that maybe the toughest jobs on teams are to practice every day — particularly as a goalie in soccer, where you’re getting beat up a lot and not getting rewarded with playing time,” Saxton said. “She’s shown great character throughout her career and has always battled.”

The State News caught up with Petri on the phone Tuesday afternoon to talk about her time as a Spartan after Petri — who will graduate in December and hopes to become the director of operations or hold a similar occupation at a resort — was finished at a career fair.

Petri and the seniors will be honored before MSU’s regular season finale at noon Sunday against Ohio State at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field.

The State News: What are some of your favorite memories as an MSU soccer player?

Danielle Petri: Definitely just being with my teammates.

The road trips, the bus trips, the funny things we do in the locker room, the pregame stuff and, of course, all the wins. Just all the memories we’ve created.

SN: Are there any specific games that stick out to you during your career?

DP: The Bowling Green game last year, when I got to play in my first game. I got in during the last 10 minutes and it was a really good game.

And then the last two years when we beat Penn State, especially since both were on the home field.

SN: Coach Saxton said he always has admired that you always show up despite not playing a lot. What is it about you that makes you so committed? Do you just love soccer that much?

DP: Definitely. I definitely know my role on the team. Maybe it’s not playing in a lot of games, but it’s more about just being a team leader out there. If I’m not going to practice and I’m not working hard and not continuing to work hard, then I’m not helping us out, helping the other goalies out.

I think the rest of the team, they look up to me and expect that out of me. It’s something I’ve been brought up to and something I’m proud of. It’s definitely just kind of “me.”

SN: In all of soccer — youth, high school, AAU, college — what is your top memory?

DP: Man, oh, man. My top memory might be when I played club soccer.

I played with (senior forward Lauren Sinacola) and (senior forward Lauren Hill) and we won the state cup together — that was pretty cool.

One of my biggest memories is just being able to come from Vardar (her AAU team) and play with (former Spartan Lauren Carter), Smurf and Lo and getting to come to a Big Ten university and continue to play with them.

SN: Have you thought at all about what it will be like Sunday when you go out on your home field for the last time?

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DP: It’s one of those things that I try not to think about. This past weekend on the drive back from Iowa, we watched a video called, “Winning isn’t Everything.” It was about the North Carolina soccer team, and it kind of hit me then that it’s coming to an end.

It’s sad, yes, but to go out there one last time on my home field and warm up with these girls that I played with for four years is really exciting. I’m excited to go out there and give it my all.

My role is on the bench and making sure I’m there for the girls who are out there, making sure my heart is as big as their heart — that’s the biggest thing.


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