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Soccer Star, Working Hard; Since First Grade

Jazmin Perry brings the ball up the field. Photo by Abby Sanford/ The Minaret

Jazmin Perry brings the ball up the field. Photo by Abby Sanford/ The Minaret

Some athletes have a unique story to justify why they play the game. The typical athlete feels inspired to compete because of some important event that changed their life.

Starting forward for the women’s soccer team  Jazmin Perry does not have a special or unusual background to motivate her while playing.

However, it may be this distinction that makes her truly stand out among other athletes.

She may not have an interesting story to tell, but she does have one feature that separates her from the rest- pure skill.

From Worthington, Ohio, Perry began her successful career in soccer when she was in first grade.

“One of my best friends kind of pulled me into it,” said Perry. “I use to do gymnastics and she wanted me to play on her team in youth boosters.”

She continued playing throughout high school. At Thomas Worthington High School Perry was immediately a shining star for the soccer team.

As a Freshman, Perry scored 21 goals and had seven assists en route to leading her team to a 14-1-1 record.

She then led her high school team in scoring during the 2007 season.

Along with her impressive numbers, Perry was also awarded Junior Varsity MVP in 2004 and in 2007 she was honored as second-team all-Central district, just to highlight a select few.

Perry, only in her sophomore year at The University of Tampa, currently leads the women’s soccer team in total points and goals scored. She maintains the highest shot percentage (among those who have attempted 10 or more shots) on the team at 38.5 percent. With already five goals to start the season, Perry stays modest and humble about her success.

“It’s cool to score, but assisting someone is just the same,” said Perry.

When asked if a more important goal to her is leading the team in offense or reaching the finals Perry, confidently said, “getting to finals, definitely.”

As of Sept. 20, the women’s team holds a record of 3-4-1. “We’re playing good, we’re just not finishing our opportunities”, Perry said. She does however remain confident for the rest of the season.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” said Perry. “We’re a really young team, so most people aren’t expecting us to get really far but I think so far we’re starting to learn to play well together so I think we’ll get further than most people expect.”

In a University without a football team to cement school spirit, it is vital to support the other sports UT has to offer.

Perry agrees.

“I think I would like to see more fans out there,” she said.  “It kind of pumps us up and gets us ready for the game.”

As a declared Allied Health major, Perry works just as hard off the field as she does on. She received both an athletic and academic scholarship to attend UT. She also is a member of both the National and Spanish Honors Society. With all her multi-faceted talent, she seems to have an endless amount of career possibilities.

“Right now I’m just kind of doing the soccer thing because I love doing it also and it helps me pay for my college education, [but] if the opportunity comes [to play professionally], I would,” Perry said.

She has started all but two games in her young collegiate career. She still has two more years, along with the remainder of this year, to build on her talent and continue adding to her already-impressive list of achievements.

The team’s next home game is Oct. 4 versus the Lynn Fighting Knights, so make sure to fill up the stands in full support of our Spartans.

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