From the Magazine: Rocky’s on a Roll
Expanded content from the pages of The Penn Stater.
We weren’t surprised to hear that Raquel Rodriguez had been named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week. With two goals and an assist in a pair of Penn State wins last week, Rodriguez is having just the sort of impact we expected in 2013.
In fairness, we should say she’s having the sort of season her coach told us to expect when we featured her in our Sept./Oct. issue. When we spoke to Erica Walsh over the summer, the coach made it clear that Rodriguez—”Rocky” to her teammates—would be vital in helping the Lions overcome the loss of All-American Christine Nairn ’12. It was Nairn, calmly controlling the tempo in the middle of the field last season, who set the tone for a team that reached the NCAA title game.
Rodriguez might not yet be on that level—Nairn, a national player of the year finalist last season, is now with the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League—but she’s already showing her worth. The sophomore midfielder has three goals and a team-high seven assists for a Penn State team that has won eight straight games, including its first three in Big Ten play. It’s all especially impressive when you consider that Rodriguez came to Happy Valley sight unseen from her native Costa Rica shortly before the start of her freshman year. On Jeffrey Field, at least, she looks right at home.
Ryan Jones, senior editor