When the top scholar-athletes in University of Lynchburg history are mentioned, women’s soccer defender and two-time All-American Rachel Sadowski ’14 will easily stand among the best.
Rachel achieved great success by any measure, and here are just a few examples.
The Hornets didn’t lose an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game in Rachel’s four seasons, going 52-0-6 against conference foes in that span. LC claimed ODAC titles in all four seasons and advanced into the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Hornets were consistently ranked in the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) Top 20 the last four years and often in the top 10.
“Every time we stepped out on the field we played for each other and to be the best team that we could be.”
“Winning this fourth title this season was an amazing accomplishment for our team,” Rachel said. “It’s a true testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion for the game that this senior class had and it also shows the strength of the entire team to be so consistently great. Every time we stepped out on the field we played for each other and to be the best team that we could be, and I think our accomplishment this year really exemplifies that.”
Often the last line of defense on the Hornet backline, Rachel also became an offensive weapon on corner kicks. She headlined a consistently stingy defense, and this team allowed just eight goals in 24 matches. Her individual awards were plentiful; Rachel is a two-time first-team All-ODAC, All-State, and All-Region honoree. The 2012 All-State Player of the Year also received the sport’s highest athletic honor the last two years, being voted an All-American each season.
“I have had the amazing opportunity to play with some of the best players in Division III soccer.”
“Being named a two time All-American has been a pretty overwhelming experience and I never imagined that it would happen to me,” Rachel said. “My goal every year was always to be a better player than I was the year before so that I could be in the best position to help my team be successful. I have had the amazing opportunity to play with some of the best players in Division III soccer and have been pushed by them in practices and in games to constantly improve and that has helped shape me into the player that I am.”
The term “true student-athlete” may be overused, but certainly fits Rachel. She graduated in May summa cum laude with a degree in environmental science. She was voted the 2013 ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the fall and is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (first-team in 2013). She also earned first-team NSCAA Scholar All-American accolades in 2012 and 2013. She was selected as a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, based on her academic, athletic, and community achievements during her career at LC and will receive a one-time $7,500 scholarship to be used for postgraduate study within three years of graduation. She is only the fifth Hornet to receive a NCAA Postgraduate and is the first women’s soccer player to earn the award.
“This summer I am volunteering with the Delaware Center for Inland Bays and helping out with their Inshore Fish Study,” Rachel said. “We sample Delaware’s three inland bays twice a month by capturing, identifying, and measuring juvenile fish in order to get a better idea of the population numbers. … I plan on taking a year off before applying to grad school for my master’s in marine science. I have applied for a year-long internship with the Chesapeake Conservation Corps Volunteer program.”