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Lady Baron earns Woman of the Year

Lady Baron, Sophia Rogers

Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) Lady Baron, Sophia Rogers earned the Woman of the Year award at the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) awards luncheon on February 3 at Seton Hall University.

The association presents Woman of the Year to one outstanding athlete from each college and university in the state. This award is based upon athletic excellence, community service and academic success.

Rogers, an RCBC Lady Baron soccer player, grew up in Columbus, New Jersey, where she could always be found playing soccer with her brothers or on a competitive team.

“My dad and older brothers were the first people I played soccer with, and it sparked my competitive side as I was always trying to keep up with them,” Rogers said. “I have been blessed to be able to be able to play for many different teams and organizations growing up, from the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program to the Red Bulls Select team.”

The coaching staff knew immediately that Rogers deserved a starting position, as a freshman, she earned the wing back position due to her defensive skills. Rogers by far was one of the most intelligent and passionate players on the team.

“My favorite soccer moment and what really defines soccer to me, was when I went to Ethiopia to meet my new siblings. I was on the street playing with my soccer ball, and some kids came and we just started a pickup soccer game. We didn’t know each other, we didn’t even speak the same language, but we all spoke soccer. Soccer is something that brings people from all different parts of life together – for the love of the game,” Rogers said.

Rogers is currently a nursing student at RCBC. After graduation, she would like to continue her education to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She has received offers to play Division II soccer and is currently trying to find the right fit for where she wants to continue her academic and athletic career.

“Sophia has been a great asset and influence to the team these last two years. She showed up to every session and game with a genuine smile on her face. Her leadership skills were extremely valued on the back line as she directed the team moving the ball forward,” said Head Coach Kathleen DeLitta. “If there was a tactic we wanted to apply to a specific game Sophia understood and made sure to communicate it while on the field. She definitely was a huge part of the team’s effort to decrease the amount of goals scored on us these last two years.”

The anniversary of NGWSD was officially recognized on February 6. NGWSD celebrates the athletic achievements of women and the positive well-being associated with sports participation while also recognizing the continuing struggle for equality for women in sports.