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Freshman Forward Jamie Cheslik emerges as offensive weapon for women's soccer

September 10, 2014

With four goals in her first six collegiate games, freshman forward Jamie Cheslik has been on a tear. Unfortunate for the Big Ten, she might just be getting started.

Cheslik’s nine points lead the team, and she has easily taken the most shots with 22. Her aggression and goal scoring are major reasons the Spartans have started the season 6-0 and have slowly moved up the rankings to No. 15, according to Soccer America .

Although she is making it look simple, the adjustment from high school to college has been a challenging experience for Cheslik.

“We were here a month before school started, so when school actually started, it was kind of different,” Cheslik said. “When everybody started getting on campus, I was kind of overwhelmed because there were so many people.”

Like most freshmen on campus, Cheslik is starting to learn the difficulties involved in balancing her time.

“It’s hard trying to balance it because you’re always busy,” she said. “You go to school, then you go to soccer, then you go to study hall, then do your homework and sleep. It’s a routine everyday.”

In a recent game against Western Michigan , Cheslik and the Spartans played a very physical and competitive game until the end. Cheslik noted that it took her a little bit of time to adjust to the game play.

“I think I did better second half,” she said. “First half I was a little tight, tired. It was very physical and I wasn’t used to that. Just getting back into the pace of the game was a lot easier to do in the second half.”

Cheslik’s stat line has been incredible this year, but to head coach Tom Saxton, it is not completely unexpected.

Saxton has regularly called Cheslik a “pure goal scorer.” Her high school resume was impressive, and she led Northville to an undefeated season and the Michigan High School state championship during her senior season. She earned all-state honors, and fittingly, scored the game-winning goal in the state championship.

Before high school, she was a member of the Michigan Hawks U17 , one of the top girl’s soccer club teams in the country. As a junior on the team, she led her league in goals.

Cheslik’s knack for finding the back of the net has been obvious this year. Despite her success before college, however, she didn’t think she would have such an immediate impact.

“I did not expect to come here and be doing how I’m doing,” she said. “During high school, it was pretty easy. Coming here, I had to get back in the groove of playing against good people. ... I didn’t expect to be playing as much as I do, so I’m really happy about that.”

Cheslik’s teammates are thrilled by her early success as well.

“She brings a great impact to the team,” junior forward Allyson Krause said of Cheslik. “Spectacular player, I couldn’t say more about her. She’s definitely going to be a target player. She’s just great on and off the ball.”

Cheslik has added excitement and youth to the team, in addition to filling important holes in the Spartan’s offense.

“She’s just so fast that it makes it so much easier for us to play her through,” senior midfielder Megan Marsack said. “She’s really good at finishing too, which our team really needed help with.”

[With the Big Ten season beginning on Friday, MSU will need everyone on the team to continue their high level of play. Cheslik may be a difference maker this year, and, for the next month and a half, it will be vital for the team to maximize the production she can give them.]


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