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With the 2017 women's soccer season slowly approaching, GoPSUsports.com is asking each member of the 2017 signing class a few questions in order to get to know them better. We are continuing the series this week with midfielder/forward Frankie Tagliaferri.
A native of Colts Neck, N.J., Tagliaferri attended Colts Neck High School and played club soccer for PDA. While at Penn State, Tagliaferri plans to major in pre-med.
GoPSU: You have an extensive background with the United States Women’s National Team at different age levels, how has that helped shape you as a soccer player?
FT: Getting many opportunities with the United States Women's National Team is of course such an honor. Being able to play with the best and be coached by the best has really matured me as a soccer player, and that will only continue here with the best players and coaching staff in the country.
I've gotten tons of international experience in different countries and against many different teams, and have developed so much pride in playing for our nation. Not only has this experience shaped me as a player, but as a person, too.
I've become more independent and more mentally tough, which are two things that’s hard to practice as an athlete, but is also a super important aspect to the game. I can't wait to implement what I've learned with the USWNT at Penn State.
GoPSU: Why did you choose to major in pre-med? Is there a specific area of medicine you would like to focus in?
FT: For a while, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. All I've ever known was soccer, and that's all I did every day. I think if any student-athlete could major in their sport they would, but it was time for me to think about something other than soccer for once.
I've always loved science, math, seeing doctors heal people so they can live a healthy life and do what they love, and Grey's Anatomy. So I figured that gave me a clear answer of the path I wanted to take in college.
As of now, I want to do something with orthopedics and sports medicine, especially if sports could be involved. I would love to cure and fix sports injuries in any way I can.
GoPSU: You arrived at Penn State for summer session two, how have the first couple of weeks in Happy Valley been?
FT: Amazing! I usually miss home easily, and of course I do now, but I never want to leave Happy Valley. I wish I could've packed my family with me and moved them here because they are what I miss so much.
Penn State is home to me now, and there is nowhere else my family would want me to be. Of course the classes are different and something I have to adjust to, but here is where I'm starting my future and I can't wait for it. I've been waiting three years to live here, play here, and simply be here, and I am finally part of the Penn State family.
GoPSU: When did you know that you were going to attend Penn State?
FT: I knew I was going to attend Penn State from the first time I visited. I was a little eighth grader so excited with a big dream to play college soccer. After my first visit, I told my family I'm going to Penn State. They laughed because I was only in eighth grade, but they loved it here too so they understood why I felt the way I did about this school.
Obviously, I had to visit other schools because choosing a college is a big deal and commitment, but my heart was always here. I soon realized how big of a presence Penn State is around our country, and that made me love it even more.
GoPSU: What is one thing the fans should know about Frankie Tagliaferri?
FT: I'm always smiling. Every athlete gets mad on the field (and most of the time this is where they play their best), but I am sure that 99.9% of the time I will be smiling. Past coaches have called me smiley because every time they look at me, there is always a smile on my face, but that doesn't mean I'm not a competitor.
Since I was a little girl, my dad has always told me "kill them with kindness." Don't get frustrated with the other team and other players when they are fouling or trash talking. Just score on them and run back past them smiling, because that is more powerful than getting mad and letting other players get in my head. Always smile.