While the lives of most student-athletes at the college level are likely to be pretty active, Madison Pines, a senior at Northwood University, may be taking it to another level.
Pines went to Northwood University on a soccer scholarship, and after arriving on campus her freshman year, she decided she would also like to be a part of the school’s track and field team and earned a scholarship for that sport, as well.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, while she is technically in her senior year as far as sports, Pines, who is majoring in accounting, is already working on her master’s degree, due to an accelerated program at Northwood.
While she may have plenty on her plate, it doesn’t seem to have prevented her from enjoying the chance she has been given to be a student-athlete. Northwood’s soccer season has begun, and Pines expressed enthusiasm for the opportunity to play the sport that brought her to Northwood.
“It’s been a really cool experience to be on the soccer team,” Pines said. “I feel like I’ve grown up with the soccer program over the last couple years. It’s really nice to say you feel totally comfortable where you are on a team. Every year that I’ve come back, we’ve improved so much. I’m really excited for this season.
“I’ve just seen a total change in the girls, in the program, and the results we’ve gotten. I’m seeing all the hard work we’ve done over the last three years culminate in this season. It’s come together so far nicely.”
Along with strong family support, Pines also credits help she received from coaches, including Henry Steinwascher and Brian Zawislak, both of whom coached her at Troy, for helping her along the way.
Along with teammate Alyssa Tomassi (Utica Eisenhower High School), Pines is a captain on Northwood’s squad, and she indicated that her time at Troy helped to prepare her to play at the college level and to take on a role as one of the team captains, which is an honor she also received while playing for the Colts.
Pines, who was selected as an honorable mention on last year’s All-GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) team, has given some thought as to what kind of attributes it takes to be named as a team captain.
“I think you need to be one of the hardest workers out on the field,” she said. “And somebody that, when your team’s getting discouraged, you’re the one that’s able to pick (them) up and keep going, or if your teammates are getting frustrated or confused, you’re the one that can notice that and say soothing words.
“Be the person that can give direction to girls on the field and off the field, too. How do you act? How can you help the team? How can we come together as a team so we can succeed? Not like a mom, but kind of a mom. Just see how you can help other people on your team succeed.”
Aside from talent, for an athlete to make it as far as the college level is likely the result of having the kind of intangibles that don’t show up on score sheets. Pines offered some ideas as to what it has taken to come as far as she has.
“I think working hard, knowing what you want and not letting anything stop you,” she said. “If you keep chugging along, working at it, (and) trying as hard as you can to reach your goals, I think eventually, you will.”
Pines already passed her Certified Public Accountant exam and has a job lined up after graduation at the same company she worked for as an intern.
While she has made some lasting memories at Northwood, Pines is also excited to see what life after college might look like.
“I’ve enjoyed my four years at Northwood, but I am excited to start my career and (the) next chapter in my life,” she said. “I’m really excited. I’m excited I have a job lined up and start my career at a firm I really enjoyed working at.”