MEET-A-BISON: SHERI FITZSIMMONS
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 14:09
Lord of the Rings, pharmacy and soccer are three very unique things. They are also three things that can help to describe NDSU senior defender and captain Sheri Fitzsimmons.
Fitzsimmons is only one of three seniors on a very young soccer team; so young that half the team consists of incoming freshmen or redshirt freshmen. Fitzsimmons has been the savvy veteran for the incomers to look to for advice.
“I think the transition has been pretty good, it was nerve-racking thinking about half the team being freshman,” Fitzsimmons said. “But I feel like they have all bought in to what us seniors have wanted them to do. We’ve blended really well.”
Fitzsimmons, who hails from Champlin Park, Minn., is a standout defender for the Bison. She was a two-time All-Conference player at Champlin Park High School before being recruited to bleed green and gold as a Bison. She has been a key cog in a unit that has produced a stout and tough D the last two years. Interestingly enough, Fitzsimmons is relatively new at defense.
“I was an offender up until last year,” Fitzsimmons said. “I kind of like it now because it’s something different and I like stopping goals. Also, I like getting shutouts because then I feel like we did our job.”
Well, the shutouts have come. Fitzsimmons has five shutouts to her name in the last 26 games as well as 11 games of one goal or less. All in all, 16 out of 26 games with one goal or less? That’s defense.
Showing off her Bison pride, when asked what her single greatest accomplishment was, she replied quickly with “Honestly, it was coming to NDSU. I feel like I’ve changed a lot as a person and just meeting everybody. I never thought I’d have these deep friendships that I found with some girls on the team and I’ve also got involved with some ministry groups.”
Fitzsimmons is also an avid Lord of the Rings fan, calling the Two Towers her favorite of the collection.
Fitzsimmons is in her second year in the pharmacy program and has two more years until she is completed with her studies. She plans on being a pharmacist after graduating.
Looking at her team, Fitzsimmons is hopeful and proud.
“I feel like we’re going to be a lot better than last year,” she said. “We’re going to be a team to beat in our conference, as opposed to being the underdog.”
Fitzsimmons also recognizes the strengths and weaknesses as a team. “I feel like a strength, we’re a technical team. We’re also good at counterattacking. For weaknesses, we are young; half the girls are playing collegiate soccer for their first time. We’re just trying to continue to pick up the physicality.”
The Bison got off to a quick start this year starting out 2-0. They’ve since moved to 3-5 but are 2-1 playing in the friendly confines of Dakota Field. They are patiently building and improving the team until conference play starts on Oct. 11 against Omaha. You can show your support by catching their next game 7 p.m. Friday at Dakota Field against Colorado State.