NEW HAVEN, Conn.– Muriel Battaglia loves working under pressure.
The 21-year-old Yale University soccer midfielder just wrapped up her junior season for the Bulldogs, starting 15 out of 16 games and adding a crucial goal in the team’s victory over Hartford on Sept. 18. As a sophomore the year before, she recorded three goals and seven assists.
But it’s her work in the classroom that continually garners praise from coaches and professors, as Battaglia, a biology major with a rigorous load of science and social science classes, maintains a 3.94 GPA.
The 2011 Hinsdale Central graduate – who has played soccer since kindergarten and was a standout on the Eclipse Club team throughout high school – explains that soccer and her athletic training help keep her focused on her classroom deadlines.
“Soccer gives me structure and helps keep me organized,” Battaglia said. “I take some intense college courses and I think I am more productive and efficient during the season. Soccer helps me buckle down and get all my schoolwork done.”
Her hard work and determination have not gone unnoticed, as Battaglia was recently named one of 12 members of the Capital One Academic All-District I first team.
The all-academic team recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their performance both on the field and in the classroom.
“The all-academic designation is such an amazing and humbling honor,” Battaglia said. “I put in a lot of hard work, but wouldn’t be where I am without my family, coaches, teammates and friends.”
Battaglia specifically credits her father, Ernie, mother, Rosalie, and older sister, Lee, a former soccer player at Northwestern who mentored her growing up.
Although Battaglia never played soccer for the Hinsdale Central team because of club obligations, she states that her high school’s honors and AP courses helped ease the transition of tackling an Ivy League workload.
“What my club soccer coaches taught my in terms of technical soccer skills, my high school teachers did a great job preparing me for college classes,” Battaglia said. “I think that I was able to have a lot more success because of Central’s strong academics.”
Halfway through her junior year at Yale, the biology major says she is taking a diverse course load in order to keep her options open.
In true student-athlete fashion, she continues to train with her Bulldog teammates and hopes to end her collegiate soccer career on a high note, possibly vying for a Ivy League championship next season.