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Dec, 2023

Salopek Named All-MAC and All-Midwest

SVSC alum Kelsey Salopek, who as a high school player at Steel Valley High won multiple player of the year honors and was All-State and All-Region, has continued to excel at the college level for NCAA Division 1 Kent State in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).  Following a change in position to defender after earning first team MAC All-Freshman honors for Kent State, Kelsey capped off a highly successful sophomore season by being named first team All-MAC (one of only two Kent players so honored) and to the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest second team (the only Kent player named to either the first or second teams).

As the honors indicate, Kelsey enjoyed a sensational sophomore season for Kent State.  After leading Kent in goals during her freshman season while playing mostly midfield, she was moved to the back line at the beginning of her sophomore campaign.  Playing as a right back, Kelsey was asked to tuck in when in possession and operate as a deep lying playmaker supporting the offense.  When possession was lost, Kelsey had to quickly transition to right back to shut down the opponent's attack.  The role is both tactically and physically demanding, and to even be asked to play in that manner manifests the coaching staff's trust in Kelsey, but obviously Kelsey thrived given the added responsibility.  Kelsey started every game for Kent, including the MAC championship game, and was among the team leaders in minutes played.  She was named MAC Defensive Player of the Week following the opening weekend of conference play, but perhaps the highlight of Kelsey's season came against archrival Akron.  With the game tied 1-1 and a minute away from the final whistle, Kelsey intercepted a pass, dribbled through a maze of Akron defenders, and unleashed a 30-yard bomb which beat the Akron keeper for the winning goal.   

A star on the field, Kelsey is also no slouch in the classroom, as she earned Academic All-MAC recognition with a 3.32 GPA.  Congrats, Kelsey, and we look forward to your further exploits on the field and off.