Sport: SoccerPosition: GoalkeeperHometown: North Rose, N.Y.High School: North Rose- WolcottClass: SeniorMajor: Biology
Laura Castor always dreamed of playing college soccer - the sport has been her favorite since she started playing in seventh grade. Now, as a shutdown goalie and captain for the Geneseo Knights, she is fulfilling that dream. Castor, a senior biology major, has been playing for Geneseo for the last four years and has worked very hard to get where she is today.
After playing goalie throughout high school, Castor decided she was ready to test her skill at the collegiate level. She was attracted to Geneseo and its women's team. "I wouldn't say that soccer is the reason I came to Geneseo, however, it did play a role in the decision," she said.
Castor didn't get to start during her freshman year, but earned the starting position during the following year. "It's kind of a big deal to earn the starting spot," she said. She has held on to that spot ever since, serving as a key component of a very dangerous team. Last season, Castor helped lead Geneseo to an 8-6-2 record and an appearance in the SUNYAC championship game.
This year, the team was crippled when Castor missed three games due to a concussion. She took a hard shot to the head when playing against Ithaca on Sept. 8, but stayed in the game. On the ride back to Geneseo, she started feeling sick, and realized something was wrong later that night. "I called the physical assistant that I worked with and I was like, 'What are the symptoms of a concussion, because I think I have one.'" Her trainers confirmed her fear and told her she would need to spend some time on the sidelines. Castor admitted it was tough to be honest with the trainers because all she wanted was to get back on the field.
Freshman Katie Clerkin stepped up to fill in for her while she was injured, and did what Castor called a "tremendous job." Castor helped Clerkin in practices and warm-ups, and commended Clerkin for her work ethic.
"There is not a huge difference between our skill levels and I think that the major difference between us as keepers is experience" Castor said. "[After] three years at the college level, I've already made most of the 'rookie' mistakes and I have learned from them."
Castor's biggest role model right now is her older sister Amy, whom she described as "very principled" and for whom she has a great deal of respect. "She has had to face some situations that really tested her morals and has had to make some very tough decisions," she explained.
The two sisters are very similar, and Laura strives to be able to stick to her beliefs in the same way that her sister has. "It affects me a lot," she said. "Amy is an amazing person and if I am even a little bit like her, I would be very fortunate."
As a senior, Castor has given plenty of serious thought to her own future. She has completed all of her biology courses and is now working on a psychology minor. After graduating, Castor plans to attend graduate school to study orthopedics and sports medicine. Her top choices right now are George Washington, the New York Institute of Technology and Cornell Medical School. She hopes that her tertiary education will lead to a career in orthopedic surgery. "The satisfaction of helping someone get back out on the field makes it all worthwhile," she says.