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INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

INTERNATIONALS GIRLS SOCCER CLUB A HISTORY OF EXCELLENCE

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Nov, 2019

Internationals SC Alum Jessica Radice Sets the Standard at GVSU

Grand Valley State University goalkeeper Jessica Radice has had an incredible start to the 2019 fall collegiate season.   She was named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Defensive Player of the Week during the third week of the season.  She’s started 13 straight games, leading the Lakers to a dominant 12-1 record. 

How dominant have the Lakers been? With Radice in goal, the Lakers have outscored their opponents by a 50-3 margin.  The most recent match was a 3-0 win over Northwood. GVSU has quietly become one of the nation’s top women’s soccer programs, winning national championships in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015 at the Division II level. 

But Radice warned that DII is just a label.

“The level of Division II soccer is very underrated,” Radice said. “For instance, we play Division I schools in the spring and are able to get great results against them and compete until the final whistle.  A division is just a title given it does not define the quality of the program within.  As for the GLIAC is it getting stronger and tougher every year.  Last year alone we had three teams from our conference in NCAA tournament play which is incredible.  Having a competitive conference allows us to approach every game as though it is the most important game of our season.  We know every team we play is going to give their best performance; therefore, we will give ours as well.”

The Medina, Ohio native has enjoyed great success at Grand Valley.  She played in just nine games in 2017, accumulating six saves and a 0.37 GAA.  She became a regular starter just a year later, tallying 30 saves and a 0.31 GAA in 27 games.  Most importantly, she earned a 25-1-2 record in her first two seasons.

Radice has learned a great deal during her time in Allendale, Michigan.

“I have learned what it takes to perceiver in tough moments,” Radice mentioned. “Through my past three years here I learned how important it is to be physically fit along with being mentally as well.  Soccer is an investment that you need to buy all in for, if you are half in it then your results will show that.”

Radice is obviously a strong presence between the posts and a leader on and off the field.

“My style as a player is very vocal and action-orientated,” Radice added. “I love to talk, it is how I stay engaged, make relationships, and organize my team.  I enjoy working hard and try to embrace challenges as a way to grow.  I had many challenges after my freshmen fall I had to attack and looking back on how much I have grown since then is a great feeling.  I am an emotional person and player; I play with my heart and I think that gives me an advantage by showing my teammates how invested I am.”

GVSU women’s soccer head coach Jeff Hosler believes he is fortunate to have her in his program.

"Jess is very committed to her growth as a player and leads through example,” Hosler said. “She is meticulous in her approach to all aspects of the game including training, lifting, scouting, nutrition, fitness, mental prep and film study.  Jess is capable of making all the necessary saves but her continued focus and improvement on the technical side of the game has allowed her to become the best possession goalkeeper that we've had in my six years at GVSU."

The glowing reviews of Radice’s work all start from a strong foundation that was built during her time at Internationals SC. 

“The set up for how trainings at ISC are compared to the college level are very similar,” Radice continued. “Having to match at every training and bus trips, only allowed to eat certain things when we travel, parents not being able to stay in the same hotel, itineraries, having to do school work on the road, the list is endless.  Keri Sarver and Zdravko Popovic always did a great job at letting us know the intentions we had when we traveled and how it should be approached like a business trip along with the privilege we have in front of us.”

Radice pointed out that the influence of ISC’s founder and president has been immense.

“I can say wholeheartedly that I would not be playing soccer or be the person I am today without Zdravko,” Radice noted. “He never gave up on me, always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.  From the extra workout sessions at 6:00 am on holidays and weekends to the constant check-in meetings to see how I was doing.  There will never be enough words for how much he has helped me.”

Popovic was quick to share his praise for Radice.

“I am so happy to see Jess thriving at the college level,” Popovic said. “I always knew she had it in her.  She is a hard-working and intelligent player with good leadership qualities.  I will never forget during her senior year in high school when she went through some struggles and her belief started to waiver.  She bounced back with a renewed focus and commitment to improving.  She came in for extra sessions and finished her youth career in a good place to springboard her into a successful college career.”

Sarver shared her thoughts on Radice’s many contributions to the club.

“Jess is an amazing person and was a wonderful kid to coach,” Sarver said. “In addition to being an impact on the field, she was also such a committed and loyal club member.  She believed in the Internationals philosophy and positivity contributed to our club culture.  She is the consummate teammate and any team or organization would be blessed to have her.”

Getting to play in the ultracompetitive ECNL was also helpful to Radice’s development.

“Playing ECNL allowed me to play all types of players from DI, DII, DIII, NAIA, and some players that did not continue to play in college,” Radice remarked. “The ability to play teams all across the country gave me a diverse level of skills and style against some of the best female athletes in collegiate sports.”

As you can see, it is no surprise that the GVSU Lakers are once again favorites to win it all.  And that success comes back to a junior goalkeeper that sets the standard in goal. 

Photo Credit: GVSU Athletics

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