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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2014 Penn State women's soccer team is full of breakout stars and unique players this season. Many of the team's upperclassman have taken on leadership roles to help the team progress. One player who has filled that role both on and off the field is junior goalkeeper Meghan Kaminski.
Starting her third season for the team, Kaminski showed her skills and passion for soccer appearing in her first game of the season last week. However, her dedication doesn't just pertain to soccer. Kaminski, who was awarded an Academic All-Big Ten title last season, is studying aerospace engineering and mathematics at Penn State.
Kaminski's dream is to be added to the short list of females to travel to outer space.
"I didn't really know what I wanted to be coming into college, so I asked my roommate what I should be and she said I should be an astronaut so I went for it," said Kaminski. "I've always loved math and sci-ence."
Not only is she one of the few females in her program, but she is also one of the few student athletes who is majoring in such a vigorous program. With less than 60 female astronauts to make it into space, Ka-minski doesn't let anything intimidate her from her future goals.
Explaining how her mother is an engineer and her two older sisters are both dedicated to their studies, Kaminski says her family has always been an influence for her to do well in academically. Kaminski also credits her professors for always being understanding of her obligations to the team.
"I make sure to always go to office hours and my professors are very helpful and supportive of me being on the team," said Kaminski.
Not only is she heavily dedicated to her studies and the team, but Kaminski is involved in Penn State's Lunar Lion. This club plans to become the first university to lead a mission to land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon.
Keeping up with such a busy schedule is no easy task. Kaminski has been able to stay on top of her busy schedule thanks to her teammates.
"It's with the team that I get more things done. It keeps me motivated having them all around me," said Kaminski.
Just as Kaminski credits her team for keeping her motivated, her teammates recognize what an asset she is to the Nittany Lions.
"She is honestly one of the most athletic people I have ever met," said captain Emily Hurd. "She has such a great work ethic day-in and day-out. For her to be so competitive with our other goalkeepers pressures all three of them to keep doing their best."
When she isn't at practice or planning her future space mission, Kaminski has also earned the title as the funniest player on the team, according to her teammates.
"She brings a different kind of joy to the team because she's so funny," said Kaminski's roommate and teammate Raquel Rodriguez. "She always makes everyone smile. Whenever I'm feeling down, she's one of the people I look up to relax and bring me up."
Being a key asset to the Nittany Lion's defense and a standout student, Kaminski is a role model for the team and student athletes everywhere.
"I think she's very smart," added Rodriguez. "She is very good at balancing her life, enjoying both life and school."
Kaminski is staying focused and ready to hit the road with the team for the first time this season by travel-ing south this weekend for two away games. Penn State will be taking its perfect record of 3-0 to the test when facing North Carolina and Duke.
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