GB sophomore scores a soccer scholarship



Proudly showing off her key chain, sophomore Aynsley Conner supports the University of Minnesota after being offered a scholarship.

  Sophomore Aynsley Conner was center back on a club team at Placer United Development Academy Soccer Club.

  She received a scholarship to the University of Minnesota recently.

  “(When I got the scholarship I felt) (v)ery proud of what I had done, and happy (…) that all of the work I had done (…) paid off,” Aynsley Conner said.

  “We started (Aynsley early) (…). I think soccer is an amazing sport for young girls and provides them with opportunities to become strong, athletic, confident leaders who learn how to work with a team, and (…) how to face and deal with adversity and failure along the way,” Aynsley’s mom, Cathie Conner, said.

  Aynsley has been with the soccer club for 4 years and has been team captain for the last couple of years.

  “Her competitiveness that she brings to the group is very contagious,” Coach Ron Benjamin said, “She holds herself and her teammates to a high standard and makes players around her better.”

  Aynsley practices about 5 to 6 hours per week.

  “I think (soccer) is a way for me to go out and express myself and just let go of any stress or worries that I have (…) for a couple hours,” Aynsley said.

  Her teammate, sophomore Grettel Sainz, said Aynsley is a leader on the field.

  “People are intimidated by her (…) because she is super aggressive and works really hard,” Sainz said.

  “(Soccer) motivates me to get my work done and not procrastinate,” Aynsley Conner said in regards to balancing school with sports.

  However, she has had to give up opportunities at school.

  “I’m not able to play high school soccer, so that is hard sometimes, to not be able to play with my friends here on this team because I have to be committed to a club team.”

  Her parents are very supportive of her soccer career. Both of Aynsley’s parents played soccer when they were growing up, and Aynsley looks up to her mom “because she played soccer in college.”

  “We’ve always told our kids: if they want to put in the work we’ll support whatever it is they want to do. I also had a great student athlete experience and would love for her to experience that as well,” Conner said.

  “I think her passion for soccer has strengthened our relationship, as I played in college as well, and we can completely relate (to each other) (….) Some of our greatest memories and best talks are when we’re on soccer trips together.”