SOUTH BELOIT—Madison Pasiecznik is downsizing.
She’s moving from three sports to two when she attends college.
Rest assured, she’ll still be plenty busy.
Pasiecznik, a senior at South Beloit, has committed to attend St. Xavier University, where she will play both soccer and basketball.
The prospect of playing multiple sports at the NAIA level is daunting, but one Pasiecznik says she is looking forward to.
“It’s a little scary, to be honest,” Pasiecznik said. “But I’m excited for it. I know it’s going to be a lot more difficult to be a multi-sport athlete in college than it was in high school, but I’m ready to put in the work. If you want something, you’ve got to go a little farther to get it.”
St. Xavier, located in Chicago, was the choice for Pasiecznik after taking a visit.
“The decision was really iffy for a while,” Pasiecznik said. “It definitely wasn’t an easy choice. There were a number of schools that I was considering, and they were all very helpful and welcoming. I knew I wanted to be a physical therapist, and the moment I stepped foot on campus, I felt like I belonged there.”
Like all other 2020 graduates, Pasiecznik has had to endure a nightmare of a final semester. While her basketball team was able to finish its season, Pasiecznik’s soccer season was a victim of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to the closing of schools for the rest of the year in mid-March.
“It’s been really hard to have my senior year taken away from me,” Pasiecznik said. “The last couple of months that I’ll have to go to school with these friends, and I didn’t get my last season with soccer. I think our team had a great chance to fulfill our potential. We had quite a few returning players, and also some incoming freshmen that were willing to work hard. Everyone was showing a lot of effort.”
Pasiecznik, who also played volleyball in the fall and was on the dance team at South Beloit, said the South Beloit staff has been a high point during the pandemic.
“The staff at the school has just been so supportive,” Pasiecznik said. “They are still really pushing to do something for us for graduation, but we’re not sure yet what that will be. But we know how much they care about us, and that’s really appreciated.”
Pasiecznik said she struggles to pick a favorite sport between soccer and basketball, where the SoBos finished with their best record in several years.
“Both sports are really competitive, and that’s what I like because I’m a very competitive person,” Pasiecznik said. “Being on the court or the field is a stress reliever for me. When I’m out there, I don’t have to think about anything else other than being an athlete.”
The SoBos finished the season with nine wins, which Pasiecznik was pleased with.
“I’m super proud of our season,” Pasiecznik said. “We all really came together and put in the effort. We were determined to bump up our record, and we did that. We were a team instead of a group of individuals.”
Pasiecznik is scheduled to start her soccer season, along with her studies, in the fall. She’s hoping for some sense of normalcy.
“I’ve thought about that very often,” Pasiecznik said. “I’ve read a lot of articles that some schools are already prepping for e-learning in the fall. I’m really hoping that all of this clears out, and I’m able to get my freshman year in playing both sports.”