By Greg DeVries
Senior forward Dana Larsen is the true embodiment of the word “student-athlete.” She is a talent to be envied on and off the field, and her teammates look up to her for it.
The team’s leading scorer is poised for another successful year on and off the field.
“Most people don’t know all of her accomplishments, but she is a brainiac as well as a soccer stud,” junior midfielder Alex Klein said.
Larsen is a biochemistry major who has been named to multiple all-academic teams and is on the Dean’s list.
“School has always been super important to me from high school all the way up. To me, being a student-athlete is a privilege. You’ve got to do the schoolwork to get it done,” Larsen said.
The fact that Larsen is a great player and teammate naturally makes her one of the team leaders.
Head coach Marci Jobson relies on Dana to set an example for the younger players.
“She’s a leader academically. 4.0, all-American. I think she is a leader socially. [She is] just a great person and [she] cares about the team…on the field, there is no one that works as hard as she does,” Jobson said.
The hard work that Coach Jobson referred to is evident in the stat column.
Last season, Larsen tallied 11 goals in 22 starts.
She is one of the best scorers in Baylor soccer’s history.
“Everything Dana does…[is] sharp. She trains so hard. She is just a veteran in our pressure and in the ability to get the ball, find the ball, find the back of the net,” Jobson said.
Baylor returns seven starters from last year, and the offense is expected to be very strong.
They play a fast and aggressive style that fits right into Larsen’s strengths.
“Dana is an amazing forward. [She] is really energetic and confident and fast. [She] attacks people, scores goals and just makes players around her better,” Klein said.
Larsen is the kind of player that leads be example.
She wants to teach the younger players about the unique style that Baylor plays.
With five freshman midfielders and forwards on the team, her leadership this season will help the team down the road.
“What I just try to come out and do every day is be a leader through hard work and effort, put in the tackles, put in the work and just hope that the rest of the team follows behind,” Larsen said. “You just have to go up and get your job done and encourage the others behind you.”
Larsen’s athletic ability extends beyond the soccer field.
She was a member of the Baylor women’s tennis team for a year.
“That shows a lot. She is a two-sport college athlete. She was really good…and they needed a person, so she played. She did well,” Klein said. “She held her ground. So that just shows she can do anything.”