Everyday Champion: Melissa Onstad
is a team co-captain and the starting goalkeeper for the Oregon State women's soccer team. Onstad has a strong passion for her sport. Onstad holds the school all-time record for for goals-against average (1.04) and solo shutouts (24), and is second in saves with 305. Onstad is outstanding on the pitch, and that character is mirrored in the classroom and in the community. She was a Pac-10 All-Academic honoree last year and should be again this season. Most recently, Onstad has been working hard with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as a team representative.
OSU’s Caleb Hawley had a chance to sit down with Onstad as this week’s Everyday Champion, in partnership with Target.
Q: You hail from Castro Valley, Calif ... how did you stumble across Corvallis?
A: I actually got in contact with the OSU coaches through some coaches on my club team. I had already been interested in them previously. I played on a team with a bunch of players that were older than I was. They had seen me then, but ended up coming out and watching me play about a year later. I sent out letters when I was young. The more you send out the more you tend to get noticed.
Q: You are majoring in Exercise and Sport Science ... what intrigues you so much about your major?
A: It's just what I've been doing my whole life. Playing sports and things I like. Just surrounding myself with that kind of an atmosphere with sports and nutrition and health and that whole field excites me. I want to go into physical therapy. I really want to end up helping athletes when they get hurt. I want to work with athletes the rest of my life. I enjoy people like that.
Q: How did you get started in soccer ... who were your early influences and who inspired you?
A: I've been playing since I was really young. I used to play in my front yard with my dad and my big brother. After that I got on a club team and I ended up staying with them three or four years. It was a really close club team that I really enjoyed the game of soccer with. That's where I think I fell in love with the game.
Q: Did you ever play any other sports other than soccer, or has soccer been the only sport in your life?
A: I played softball all the way up into high school. I definitely miss softball. I just felt that soccer would take me more places. I definitely can say that I like soccer more than softball, but I definitely still enjoy watching it and miss playing.
Q. What are your plans once you get your degree in Exercise and Sport Science and finish your soccer career at OSU?
A: I am planning as of right now on going to physical therapy school. I'm not sure when that is going to be, depending on application times. I still haven't made my decision on whether or not I'm going to take a year off. But I definitely will be going to physical therapy school. Hopefully in the Bay Area, it just depends on what schools I get into.
Q: How difficult is it to maintain a high GPA and be a student-athlete? What do you do to manage your time?
A. I just try and get something done every night. Whether or not it's everything that needs to be done, is not always the case. That's what helps me out the most. I try to stay as organized as I can. I like to think that I am pretty on top of my schoolwork. It's not super difficult for me if I break everything up into smaller pieces. I don't like sitting around anyway. I enjoy school. It keeps me on my toes, and it keeps me busy.
Q: What do you like doing when you actually get a little time to yourself in your busy schedule?
A: I like to hang out with my friends a lot. I still hang out with my teammates even when I get a break. If I get a chance to head out of town, I like to water ski and wakeboard. If it's just in my free time I like to play guitar hero. It's a little secret addiction that I have.
Q: What is your involvement in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee?
A: I'm on SAAC. I'm the teams' relations chair. I'm in charge of the Beaver Cup right now and getting that going. I'm trying to get all of the teams involved in all of the sports here, everyone supporting everyone. That's my goal.
The Beaver Cup is a competition between teams. Every team gets a certain amount of points for each game that they attend. These games are called orange games. The more popular sports are less points and the less popular sports are more points. You can get extra points for the “ultimate fan.” GPA is involved, community service hours are involved and other events are involved. It's the whole idea of getting student-athletes involved and hanging out and getting along. The prizes are for gear for locker rooms and other stuff. The gymnastics team won it last and they put a plasma t.v. in their locker room.
Q: What influenced you to enroll at Oregon State?
A: When I came here on my recruiting trip, I already knew within the first few hours that this was where I wanted to go. I loved the team, I loved the coaches and I thought it was a beautiful campus. I actually ended up just throwing the other schools out the window and came here. So I'm very happy with my choice, I've never had any second thought on it.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being part of the OSU soccer team?
A: There are so many things, but I would say the friendships that I've made since I've been here. My teammates are like family to me. The whole entire staff, anyone that helps out in the entire athletic department have been great.
Target wants to congratulate , who is this week's Everyday Champion. As a Company structured entirely of teams, Target understands how crucial each and every Team Member is, both on and off the field. OSU Athletics and Target would like to recognize these outstanding Athletes for not only driving their own individual accomplishments, but for driving their team's ultimate success. Target is a proud partner with OSU Athletics.