by Taryn Taylor
Nastasia Asgedom, a freshman soccer transfer from University of Central Florida, started in the first game of her UT career last weekend. She assisted with the game-winning goal in an upset against Columbus State University and became the Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Player of the Week. Asgedom is still in disbelief over this great recognition.
“I am super excited, it was my first game and I can’t believe I got it, especially with all of the other players on the team,” Asgedom said. “It came out of nowhere.”
A Tampa native, Asgedom played soccer at H.B. Plant High School and club soccer with Tampa Bay United on the same team as some of her current UT teammates. Over the summer, Asgedom spent days playing with Tampa Bay United where they made it to regionals-. As a collegiate player, Asgedom ventured to UCF, but saw no playing time as a redshirt. Her first game was against Columbus State on Sept. 11 playing for UT.
“When I first heard Nastasia was going to come play for UT I was very excited because after playing with her for two years I knew how good of a player she is and I knew she would come in right away and make a difference,” said sophomore Miranda Gonzalez.
Not only is Asgedom from Tampa, but she has roots in the UT community. Her father played soccer and is a coach for the men’s soccer team. However, her decision to become a Spartan wasn’t influenced by her father. Her dad is all for Asgedom making her own decisions and it was Asgedom’s choice to play close to home; a perk being her family is able to come to more games and watch her play.
“My family is here, I grew up in Tampa and my dad helped me with soccer–while I was at UCF he couldn’t make it to a lot of the games,” Asgedom said.
Asgedom has been a value to have on all of the teams she has played for. As a junior in high school, she led her team in scoring and helped her team win a district championship, as well as make it to the regional quarterfinals. She has plenty of championships under her belt playing club soccer at Tampa Bay United. In the past year, they were both regional and State Cup champions.
“I know I can always count on her to work hard and come up big in games when we need her,” Gonzalez said. “Her skill and hard work makes her a very fun player to play with and to watch from the stands, so I’m very glad that she decided to join our UT family.”
Asgedom was in the game for all 90 minutes against Columbus State, where she recorded a goal and an assist. She says that when it came down to assisting in the game-winning goal, it was just “being there at the right time.” Against the University of West Florida, she played 84 minutes and again made a goal and assist. She was excited to be on the field and ready to help her team this season.
“My first game was nerve-wracking, but a huge relief being on the team,” Asgedom said.
Her coaches and teammates all agree that she has been a great addition to the team and are excited for this season with her. They are all happy to see her strengths so early in the season and can’t wait to see what else she’ll bring to the team.
“She has been an explosive threat offensively and we are going to look for her to continue and grow as a player throughout the year,” said head coach Erin Switalski.
Asgedom is fitting into the system very well and has no regrets behind her decision to become a Spartan.
“I wouldn’t change it,” Asgedom said.