Athlete of the Week: Amanda Otto
John Buchanan/THE CHIMES
Freshman soccer player Amanda Otto scored the first goal of her collegiate career at the perfect time. She has played a reserve role for the team in each game this season, and did not record any stats in the first four games. However, when her team needed her to deliver in a game against Concordia University Irvine on Sept. 29, she did not disappoint. With eight minutes left in the game and the score tied at 1-1, Otto netted the game-winning goal that led to a Biola upset over No. 14 Concordia.
“I really didn’t see the ball go in because there were so many defenders,” she said. “It was just a huge blessing and I was really thankful to God that I got to do that.”
It may have been Otto’s first goal as a Biola athlete, but she showed the composure of an upperclassman. There was still plenty of time left in the game for Concordia to catch up and Otto was determined to prevent that from happening.
“I needed to stay in the game, stay mentally focused,” she said.
Otto came to Biola after visiting the school
With early success on the soccer field, Otto seems to have made the right choice to attend Biola. However, it was never in her plans to come to this school. As a skilled soccer player in high school, she had many college options to choose from. She looked at several schools in the GSAC (Golden State Athletic Conference), but none of them felt like the right fit. It was not until she visited the campus that she made her decision to come to Biola.
“I came to Biola, and I really liked the campus the first time I was on it,” she said.
Otto transitioned smoothly to the college level
While some freshman athletes have a hard time adjusting to the intensity of sports at the college level, Otto’s transition has been smooth.
“It’s definitely a huge commitment, but it’s a commitment that I really love and enjoy doing,” Otto said. “It feels more serious than high school, which is fun for me because I’ve always been serious about things I do whether it’s athletics or academics.”
With a positive attitude and a good work ethic, Otto has seen her playing time increase during recent games.
Otto’s passion sparked from her childhood
Much of Otto’s passion for soccer can be attributed to her childhood of playing the sport. She has played since she was six years old and started taking it more seriously during her sophomore year in high school.
“There’s just something about soccer that I fell in love with as a little girl,” she said. “I don’t really know how to describe the feeling of being out there on the pitch, being with the ball and with my teammates and just playing.”
Otto remains team-oriented
Otto is only a freshman, but is already showing that she is a valuable part of the women’s soccer team. Although she is having some early individual success on the field, her focus is still on her team.
“[I’ve] just been working hard to contribute to my team; I love my team so much and every single person has something that they contribute,” she said. “We take one practice at a time, one game at a time and we just focus on what can we do to improve ourselves to be even better than the day before.”