Soccer standout reflects on high school athletic career
After a decorated high school soccer career, 2015 Twinsburg High School graduate Susan D’Isidoro is set to continue her academic and soccer careers at Ohio Dominican University this fall.
D’Isidoro starred on the pitch for the Tigers, netting 55 goals and recording 70 assists during her four-year career.
She still remembers the excitement of taking the field as a wide-eyed 14-year-old.
“I thought it was so cool when I heard my name on the loudspeaker and I got to run out on the field when the big stadium lights were on,” D’Isidoro said, reflecting back to her first game. “That’s what every little kid dreams about.”
In that first match, D’Isidoro quickly learned the importance of teamwork. She found herself in the middle of the team wall set up to defend a free kick.
“Our opponent shot the ball and it hit me right in the stomach, “D’Isidoro said. “Yeah, it hurt, but I saved a goal, so it was totally worth it.”
Throughout the rest of her high school career, D’Isidoro – who also competed on the school’s girls basketball and track teams for one season – got the better of her opponents on most nights.
The standout soccer player earned first-team all-state recognition as a senior and received Northeast Ohio Conference first-team honors each of the past two years.
On senior night, D’Isidoro capped her career at Twinsburg Stadium in grand fashion, scoring three goals.
The excitement stemming from that night stands in stark contrast to the emotions she and the rest of her teammates felt following their 2-1 loss to Hudson in a Division I Kent district tournament semifinal contest. The Tigers led 1-0 at the half.
“We had the lead, but we blew it,” D’Isidoro said. “That taught me you can’t give up. The whole team has to keep working until the final whistle.”
D’Isidoro plans to major in public relations and minor in business administration and coaching at ODU.
The high school grad recently reflected on her time at Twinsburg – in and out of the classroom – for USATODAYhss.com/Cleveland. Check out the Q&A below to learn more.
Q: What was the best part of being a varsity student-athlete?
A: One thing I noticed is that no one really comes to JV games. A lot of parents, classmates, friends, teachers and coaches come to watch and cheer on the varsity teams. I had friends that used to paint, cheer, bang drums and ring cow bells the whole varsity game. Varsity teams received a lot more support from the community. A lot of younger athletes look up to athletes on the varsity teams. I think it’s neat how little kids look up to me as a role model.
Q: What were the highlights of your high school athletic career?
A: When we went undefeated during the regular season of my junior year. Being ranked first in the state during my junior and senior year. Making first-team all-state. During my freshman year, I came off of the bench and scored a header off of a corner kick.
Q: What pieces of advice did you receive from your high school coaches that you’ll likely remember for the rest of your life?
A: They taught that if you wanted a championship, you had to go and get it yourself because no one was just going to hand it to you. Our basketball coaching staff, Julie Solis and Julie Buckler, taught me that. They also stressed teamwork, disciple, hard work and trust. We had bracelets that said “believe” and “whatever it takes,” and on the inside, it said “confident, consistent, team.”
Q: What did it mean to you to be a Twinsburg Tiger?
A: I’m so proud to be a Twinsburg Tiger. They say we bleed blue and white, which is true. Twinsburg Tigers have a lot of pride for their city and team. Twinsburg Tigers are built strong; they have teamwork, discipline, trust, hard work and confidence, which makes them unstoppable.
Q: What is your fondest memory from your time with your teammates off of the field?
A: When we went boating as a team at Aurora Shores. Tubing was a lot of fun and I feel that brought us closer as a team. We also had a cookout that day.
Q: Which teacher made the greatest impact on your life?
A: Mrs. (Nora) Suder-Riley had the greatest impact on my life. She was my biology and anatomy teacher. She always had an answer for all of my questions. She kept me on my toes. Her classes were definitely a challenge, but I learned to manage my time and find time to study, and I ended up doing great in all of her classes. I’m so glad I had a teacher like her that always pushed me to do my best. Anatomy was also my favorite class. What I learned in anatomy will definitely stay with me forever.
Q: What was the greatest non-athletic accomplishment of your high school career?
A: Receiving my diploma. I received straight As my whole senior year. Graduating with a 3.9 GPA. I think that is really good considering I spent a lot of time on the athletic field. Also being a member of the foreign language honors society.
For more Northeast Ohio high school sports news, scores, photos and videos, visit USATodayhss.com/Cleveland.