October 14, 2009

Jacqui Simon: A Great Example

Oct. 14, 2009

This weeks Great Example is women's soccer midfielder Jacqui Simon.

A native of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., Simon is in her junior season with a major in biology and aspirations of entering the medical field.

As a team captian, Simon hopes to lead the squad to its second consecutive Big West Championship title an NCAA Tournament berth. Head coach Paul Stumpf acknowledges Simon's leadership ability and is impressed that "by the end of her career, she will have been a team captain for over two years. Her leadership is based on a number of great qualities including: work rate, responsibility, honesty, respect, competitive spirit, and her soccer playing ability."

In 2008 Simon was recognized as 1st Team All-Big West after the Gauchos upset Long Beach in the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament, giving UCSB an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, its first in 17 years. The taste of success in 2008 season left Simon longing for more in 2009. She is currently among the team's leaders in goals, assists, and points as the Gauchos are tied for first in the Big West.

"Jacqui regularly volunteers to work our camps and clinics for the local youth, and it is rare that she does not wear a smile on her face," Stumpf commented.

As Student-Athlete Advisory Board Vice Chair, Simon assists in the orchestration of SAAB being recognized as a campus organization and establishing a relationship with Associated Students Board.

Simon took the opportunity to answer a few questions about herself.

1. What is your favorite aspect about attending UCSB?
Biking everywhere (despite the many bike accidents I've been in), being near the beach, and being a student-athlete.

2. What are your aspirations after college?
I'm thinking about going to med school to become a doctor, traveling throughout Europe, and joining the Peace Corps at some point in my life.

3. What favorite Gaucho women's soccer moment?
Winning the Big West Tournament at Long Beach State last season which meant we were going to the NCAA playoffs for the first time in about 10 years.

4. Is there any motto that you live by?
Learn from my mistakes and have no regrets.

5. What do you most enjoy about having the Pacific Ocean right outside your front door?
I've pretty much had the Pacific Ocean right outside my door all my life and I love everything about it. Honestly though, I haven't been out to the beach in a while cause there's too much tar for my liking, but I love that the weather is always amazing and I can watch the sunset from my apartment.

6. What is your favorite part about being a Gaucho?
Athletic perks like free gear, free individual tutoring...

7. What extra curricular activities other than soccer are you involved in?
Playing on my keyboard, cooking/baking, reading, training younger girls at soccer...

8. Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I listen to my most recently made playlist on my iPod. Right now it includes some Kid Cudi, Jay-Z, and Mr. Hudson. 9. Who is your biggest role model?
My grandma, Medy.

10. Where is your favorite place to study?
Second floor of the Library in the back left.

11. What has been your favorite class at UCSB?
EEMB 3L - Bio Lab. We got to dissect squid, play with crabs, and go on a "botanical garden" tour around campus.

12. What is one thing about you most people don't know?
I'm half Filipino.

13. What has been the biggest challenge in your collegiate career?
I probably stress out during the school year about classes and soccer a little more than necessary. I need to relax a little more.

14. Going into your junior season, what goals do you have for yourself and the team?
We have had a rough pre-season so it is definitely a goal for the team to turn things around and win league, host and win the Big West Tournament, and make it to the 2nd round of NCAA playoffs.

15. What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? I like to hang out with friends and family. Go shopping! Listen to music, watch movies, outdoor activities, relax.

16. If you could only pick one Isla Vista restaurant to eat at, which one would you pick?
IV Deli.

17. What is the most embarrassing moment in your soccer career?
I wore goggles during soccer, which took over my face and left me with no peripherals, up until 8th grade when I finally invested in getting some contact lenses.

18. What aspects of Gaucho women's soccer made you decide to transfer from UCLA?
I knew a lot of the girls on the team from club and ODP (Olympic Development Program) so I was excited to play soccer with them again.

19. What advice would you give to incoming athletes interested in playing soccer at the Division 1 level?
Learn to balance school, soccer, and friends or else you will not be able to enjoy the whole student-athlete experience. Come in fit and be ready to compete at every single practice.

20. What three adjectives would use to describe Jacqui Simon?
Competitive, fun, motivated.

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