WATERVILLE — Aubrey Schaeffer, a 2019 graduate of Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, was a force on the soccer pitch in high school, and with a notable campaign as a freshman at Thomas College, a NCAA Division III program in Waterville, she continues to prove she is a top player.
However, if it was not for her perseverance and strong work ethic in life, Schaeffer likely would not have ever been able to stand on a soccer field, let alone run up and down one.
Schaeffer played four years of varsity soccer for Medomak Valley and five years of club soccer for Dutch Soccer Academy United. As a three-sport athlete, she also spent time on the basketball and softball teams at Medomak Valley.
While a Panther, the Union native earned Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference all-conference first team accolades her senior year and was named to the all-conference second team her sophomore season.
Additionally, she was named to the all-academic team all four years and was named the team’s most valuable player her sophomore and senior seasons.
In her freshman season at Thomas, the five-foot-four midfielder collected one assist in each of the team’s 15 regular season games, including 13 starts for the Terriers.
Playing soccer through The PITCH in Warren and its club team, Dutch Soccer Academy United, helped grow and fuel Schaeffer’s passion for soccer.
“I became highly motivated to improve technique and competition level,” she said. “I brought my knowledge and experience to my high school team.”
Through the Dutch Soccer Academy United team, she was recruited heavily by several collegiate teams.
After speaking with Thomas College head coach Deb Biche-Labbe, Schaeffer was sold on transitioning from being a Panther to a Terrier.
“Her philosophy and women’s soccer program suited my desires to continue playing soccer,” she said.
While many athletes usually say their favorite sports-related memories from high school were championships or accomplishing notable achievements, Schaeffer elected to highlight a different type of memory.
Instead, her standout memory was how hard she worked to get where she is today, the continuous push to improve and challenging herself to be a better teammate, skilled athlete, and academically balanced.
She has a great reason for her favorite memory to be different, as her path to being an athlete is unique.
In fact, Schaeffer’s greatest accomplishment in life and, quite frankly, the theme of her life has been perseverance.
“I have overcome many adversities for a young adult,” she said.
As a child, Schaeffer was physically unable to stand for any length of time.
“I would simply fall down,” she recalled. “I worked hard to gain the physical ability that I have today.”
Quite fittingly, her favorite quote comes from Peter Drucker: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
Her work ethic on and off the field has transitioned with her to college as she noted her personal goal in the classroom is to make Dean’s List, while her goal on the field is to be the best teammate possible and to “work my heart out at each practice and game.”
Following her graduation, Schaeffer aspires to train dogs for the K9 units of law enforcement upon graduation.
When in the Midcoast, she enjoys going on hikes or swimming in the lake and ocean. In her downtime, she enjoys reading a book or dancing. At some point in her life, she hopes to visit Australia.
Asked to provide advice to those hoping to play collegiate athletics, Schaeffer noted it is imperative to contact collegiate coaches early, namely, during the junior year of high school.
When contacting the college coaches, she advised recruits to provide the coaches with a synopsis of skills and talents, as well as your team’s schedule. It is also important, she said, to complete the recruiting questionnaires usually found on a college’s athletic website.
“Spend extra time working on the sport that you wish to play,” she stated.
Through everything Schaeffer has faced in life, she has been able to conquer everything with her family’s support.
“My family is definitely a big motivator in my life,” she said. “They always push me to be the best that I can be.”
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.