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Q&A With Shaina Ashouri, Malea Fabean and Seyla Perez




Feb. 21, 2014

Q&A WITH PITT FRESHMEN SOCCER PLAYERS SHAINA ASHOURI, MALEA FABEAN AND SEYLA PEREZ

Three Pitt women’s soccer freshmen players--Shaina Ashouri, Malea Fabean and Seyla Perez—decided to graduate from high school in December and enroll at Pitt for the 2014 spring semester. All three players are currently in Pittsburgh and enrolled in spring classes. We spoke to all three of the players to find out how their transition has been to college:

 

SHAINA ASHOURI

Shaina is a freshman from Parker, Colo. and Chaparral H.S. who as a midfielder, will give Pitt a quick and athletic attacking player.

Q: Why did you decide to graduate early and enroll at Pitt a semester early?

A: “I decided to graduate early and enroll at Pitt a semester early because I saw this as one of the opportunities in life I couldn't let pass me by. I knew that I would be getting a head start not only educationally but also athletically. Also coming from Colorado I knew it was going to be a hard adjustment being far from home so I wanted to get used to everything in the Spring rather than the fall where I don't have time to think of anything besides school and soccer.”

Q: How has the transition gone so far?

A: “The transition has been both easy and tough at times. School wise, it's a lot more work than it was in high school and being a student-athlete in college is 10x more demanding than it used to be. I still love it and the team and coaches make it an easier transition.”


 

 

Q: What are you looking to get out of spring training?

A: “During the spring training I am looking forward to getting used to the coaching style and the team's style of play. Building on my technical abilities, 1v1 attacking and defending, speed of play, and fitness are just a few of the many things I'm looking to improve. I hope that I come out of this spring season with improvements in every area so I can continue to build and improve in preparation for the years ahead of me.”

Q: Why did you decide to come to Pitt?

A: “I knew Pitt was the right place for me as soon as I got on campus and met the coaches and the team. I came here because the coaches were very nice but never sugar-coated anything. They all know soccer at a very high level and I knew that when it came to practices and games they would mean business. They have a desire to build a name for the women's soccer program here and I want to help achieve that. Besides, what better place to do it than in the ACC, college's premier soccer conference? Educationally, Pitt has a reputation for being a very prestigious University and I wanted to get my degree at a school that would offer be the best soccer and academic opportunities.”

Q: In just one month, how has arriving at Pitt helped you in preparation for the upcoming season?

A: “Being here in one month on paper might not seem like a long time, but I have learned a lot already. Being able to play and lift with the team--not to mention being around them 24/7-- has given me the opportunity to build friendships and team chemistry. I think team chemistry will be vital in the fall season especially with my class having 12 new girls.”

 

MALEA FABEAN

Malea is a freshman from nearby Donora, Pa. and Greensburg Catholic Central H.S., who scored 152 goals and set a Pennsylvania state record with 117 career assists during her four-year high school career.

Q: Why did you decide to graduate early and enroll at Pitt a semester early?

A: “I felt that it was a perfect opportunity for me to get a head start both academically and athletically.  I was ready to begin the next chapter of my life.”

Q: How has the transition gone so far?

A: “The transition has gone better than expected.  There are so many resources for athletes to use both from the academic side and from the athletic side, plus I knew most of the team pretty well and they have helped to make the transition go pretty smoothly.  They have been great teammates.”

Q: What are you looking to get out of spring training?

A: “I want to get myself as fit as possible and understand what I need to do to help the team succeed this fall.  I am looking forward to the spring games and the competition that they will bring.” 

Q: Why did you decide to come to Pitt?

A: “I have always wanted to attend Pitt from about 8th grade on.   It’s a great academic school, close to home and just an overall great fit for me.  And now actually being here I know I made the right choice for sure.”

Q: In just one month, how has arriving at Pitt helped you in preparation for the upcoming season?

A: “Since getting here in January, I have pushed myself from a fitness standpoint to try and keep up with the most fit girls on the team.  I think getting the opportunity to be pushed by my coaches and teammates for the last couple of weeks will enable me to be prepared for this spring both physically and mentally.  I can’t wait to get on the field with my new teammates.”


SEYLA PEREZ

Seyla is a freshman from Warren, Ohio and Howland H.S. who earned two All-State First Team honors and accumulated 47 goals and 27 assists during her high school career. She also helped guide her club team to the Under-17 national title. 

Q: Why did you decide to graduate early and enroll at Pitt a semester early?

A: “I decided to graduate early and enroll a semester early at Pitt because I thought it was a great opportunity to be able to begin practicing with the team and preparing for the upcoming fall season. I saw no negatives in coming early when my coaches had asked, only positive. I would not only get to begin playing with the team, but also get a head start on my academics and managing being a student-athlete.”

Q: How has the transition gone so far?

A: “The transition so far has went fairly well. The academic transition is definitely tough, but the staff is very supportive and helpful with that. The hardest transition would be managing time. The soccer transition is a lot different as well. The amount of hours put into it are a lot, but the team and coaches have helped so much already with making sure we can handle it and are comfortable with everything.”

Q: What are you looking to get out of spring training?

A: “This spring I am looking to work on my technical ability and really get a sense of how my team plays. I really want to get connected with everyone as well so it’s not a new atmosphere when I come back in the fall. Understanding the way Pitt plays and the rolls of my position on the field with my team is a huge thing I am looking to get out of this spring training.”

Q: Why did you decide to come to Pitt?

A: “I decided to come to Pitt because when I first visited I felt at home. The coaches are honestly so supportive and helpful in every way that they can be, that it made me want to go to Pitt. Joining the ACC also helped my decision. Not only would did I want to be a part of a great conference with the best competition, but I also wanted to be a part of the program that they are building here at Pitt. The team, also, was so welcoming from the start. They all have great hearts and really want the best for the team. Also, Pitt is not far from me and I did not want to go far away from home.”

Q: In just one month, how has arriving at Pitt helped you in preparation for the upcoming season?

A: “Arriving early has already helped my chemistry with the team and coaching staff. I feel so close with everyone already and that is a big aspect in having a successful team. I am getting to the point where I feel comfortable enough to just play, which is one of my biggest problems when I join a new team so I will be completely fine when fall comes. Being here already has helped with the understanding of what a student-athlete consists of and how hard you have to work with school and soccer so when I come in the fall I will already know what to expect with that. Also, being here has already helped me improve with my fitness so when fall comes I will not be out of shape and dying on the field.”