October 9, 2012

Indiana Mead: A Great Example

Indiana Mead, sophomore midfielder for UCSB’s women’s soccer team, has proven that she can excel at whatever is thrown at her.

Mead has demonstrated that she is undoubtedly a great example. After soaring through high school in both academics and sports, Mead has continued her success on both fronts at UCSB.

An attacking center mid, Mead has displayed the same tenacity and technical skill she possesses on the pitch inside the classroom, where she is training for a career in marine biology. With big plans for the future, Indiana has established herself as a positive role model to her fellow students and athletes.

Originally from Boulder City, Nevada, Mead graduated as a valedictorian from Boulder City High School. On top of that, she was heavily active in sports for the Eagles.

“Soccer is not my only sport, I also love to golf,” Mead said. “When I was younger, I tap danced and played golf in high school.”

Having so many commitments would be a drain on any person, but “Indy,” as she is known, has shown the determination and will to persevere.

“I think focus was a big part of how I succeeded through high school,” Mead said. “A lot of the time you can get side tracked with your friends and want to stay away from the soccer and academic parts, but I really worked hard and that’s the main reason why I am here today.”

As if that was not enough on her plate, Mead played soccer for the U.S. National Team from the U-14 to U-18 level. Playing for the U.S. National Team gave Indiana a new insight into the game.

“The experience of being on the U.S. National team, and knowing my place on the squad has given me a lot of confidence,” said Mead. “Following directions and trusting my coaches has been a big part of that experience.”

Mead recalls how playing the U-17 German National team helped improve her own game.

“Seeing the different level of play, their size and how they are in the air was a big wake up call and it helped me in college ball. The different playing styles and different strengths and weaknesses have definitely helped me come into the college style of play.”

Indeed, she has continued her success at UCSB. She is a major force on the field for the Gauchos. The UCSB leader in assists and shots, wearing the number 10 shows just what kind of player she is.

“The number 10 is always known as an attacking center midfielder and the playmaker,” explains Indiana. “I think that just wearing it shows that I am more of a technical player and I like to get into the attack and bring my technical ability to the game.”

Off the field, Mead is majoring in marine biology. She displays an uncommon passion for her future career.

“I’m really big on preservation of the ocean and that’s what is going to lead me to my career,” said Mead. “I’m hoping to go to grad school after I graduate from UCSB, focusing on preservation of the Great Barrier Reef or studies on sharks and preserving life of marine animals.”

Paul Stumpf, head coach of the women's soccer team had a feeling he could use the ocean to his advantage when recruiting Mead as a high school senior.

“When she was here on her recruiting visit we walked her out to Campus Point and she took a look around, kind of laughed and told me ‘this isn’t really fair,’" said Stumpf. "It was a beautiful day and we had her right then.”

Seeing the parallels between challenges on the pitch and challenges in life, Mead looks forward to using her experience at UCSB long after she graduates.

“Being part of a Division I soccer team and coming to a school like UCSB for educational reasons is going to help me in my career and after I graduate,” Mead said. “I think the science program here at UCSB will help me out with any future endeavors I take on and the experience here will definitely help me in life after college.”

Stumpf sees no reason why his star midfielder won't succeed after college.

"Indiana has high aspirations and goals, and that’s what makes her so good at whatever she does,
 said Stumpf. "
When someone does better than Indy, she doesn’t get jealous, she gets mad.  She sets very high standards for herself and meets them.”

If her past triumphs and current successes are any indication, we can expect big things from Indiana Mead in the future.

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