Jan 23, 2023
by Priscilla Contreras, ’21, ’23
Snowboarding within the Alps or racing alongside a zipper line at speeds nearing 70 miles per hour are typical actions for St. Bonaventure College soccer goalie Chiara Gottinger, who grew up in an energetic, outside household in Austria.
A love of soccer and an purpose of enjoying on the Division I stage in the US introduced her to St. Bonaventure. The buddies she’s manufactured from her and the agricultural fantastic thing about campus have saved her right here.
The sophomore sports activities administration main mentioned that the dimensions and friendliness of campus remind her of her hometown of Pirching am Traubenberg, within the southeastern nook of Austria, inhabitants roughly 2,000. Though German is her first language, she has been talking English since grade faculty.
“From the very starting, I felt actually comfy with the college,” Gottinger mentioned. “I noticed footage of campus and thought to myself that Bonaventure could possibly be match for me.”
Gottinger serves as a goalkeeper for Bona’s Division I ladies’s soccer staff and was twice named the Atlantic10 Defensive Participant of the Week in the course of the fall 2022 season.
“I felt honored, however I additionally thought that it isn’t a giant deal — till all people on my staff freaked out and shared it on social media,” Gottinger mentioned with a smile.
She famous that the awards and recognition are a terrific complement to the arduous work she and her teammates put forth each day, although added that she does not play for the awards.
“I play due to my love for soccer.”
That zeal—alongside together with her dedication and grit—are evidenced in her season stats. Gottinger led all the NCAA Division I with a complete of 163 saves this previous fall.
“Our coach all the time mentioned the women are like sisters and this season we had been capable of expertise that greater than ever. We’re a decent staff, principally collectively 24/7, whether or not it’s on the sphere, in coaching or within the locker room,” Gottinger mentioned.
Throughout her time with the ladies’s soccer staff, Gottinger has discovered friendships that can final a lifetime. One such bond is together with her teammate and roommate Elisabeth Ptacek, a sophomore advertising and marketing main from Hudson, Ohio.
Gottinger remembers assembly Ptacek and her mother and father in the course of the preseason and immediately feeling welcomed when Ptacek’s mom mentioned to her “You might be a part of our household now.”
Each of Ptacek’s mother and father performed soccer collegiately and have invited Gottinger to spend the vacations with them. In the course of the season, Gottinger’s and Ptacek’s household met for the primary time when Gottinger’s household traveled to the US to observe Gottinger play.
“Not solely is she an awesome teammate and roommate, she can also be a unbelievable buddy,” mentioned Ptacek. “I’ve totally loved enjoying with and attending to know Chiara these previous two seasons.”
Gottinger started his soccer profession on the age of 6 with an all-boys staff in Austria. Seven years later, she was a part of a women youth staff that competed on the nationwide stage inside the nation and claimed the primary championship title within the women competitors for Styria. She then went on to play for the ladies’s staff of the membership SK Sturm Graz, successful a second league championship in 2017/18. She remembers that as a really particular time
“It was the primary ladies’s title in membership historical past, and it was my first season not enjoying at youth stage,” she mentioned.
Gottinger labored with a soccer company in Austria to have the ability to play in America, starting the recruiting course of in the course of the second lockdown of COVID.
“At first, I did not suppose I used to be going to turn into a DI participant because the company instructed me I’d be more likely to play Division II as a result of faculties need extra American soccer gamers,” Gottinger mentioned. “However solely Division I faculties reached out to me. I used to be like, wow, that is loopy!”
Since then, Gottinger has managed to make St. Bonaventure her house away from house. Her favourite place of hers to hang around round campus when she shouldn’t be on the soccer subject is the Hickey Dinning Corridor. She spends plenty of time with teammates there, engaged on assignments or simply sitting and speaking.
“If you go to school in Austria, you actually simply go there to check and you then return house. You do not play on your college’s soccer staff, and you do not dwell on campus. It’s only a utterly completely different expertise. So despite the fact that I’m removed from house, it’s nonetheless good right here. I can actually concentrate on soccer and learning. I really like this campus,” Gottinger mentioned.
Gottinger seems ahead to having a locker room devoted to the ladies’s soccer staff with the brand new fundraising marketing campaign, A Bolder Bonaventure: Ignite. encourage. Make investments. One of many marketing campaign’s prime priorities is to remodel St. Bonaventure’s athletics services and guarantee a strongly aggressive Division I expertise for each student-athlete.
“There are such a lot of issues I’m enthusiastic about, however I’m most excited for the locker rooms. As a staff we spend a lot time in that space. When your staff has a devoted locker room, your stuff is all the time there, and never in your room,” Gottinger mentioned. “If each single staff has a locker room, it additionally reveals that each staff will get handled the identical.”
Gottinger is all the time searching for alternatives to enhance his expertise on and off the sphere.
“As a goalkeeper, you’re watching everybody and observing their subsequent transfer. I be taught loads from simply observing folks’s actions,” Gottinger mentioned.
She desires of in the future working with knowledgeable sports activities membership in Europe and interacting extra with the followers.
The probabilities are countless as she continues to shine in her soccer profession.
Study how one can assist ignite and encourage student-athletes like Chiara Gottinger.
TO BOLDER BONAVENTURE: Ignite. encourage. Make investments.
Study in regards to the ATHLETICS PILLAR of the marketing campaign