Melendez looks back on career, forward to life after GSU

GSU players look on during SWAC Championship play.

The Lady Tigers soccer team had a successful year, advancing to the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship game.

With seven seniors on their roster, leadership was not hard to come by for the Lady Tigers.

One of those leaders who stood out this season was senior midfielder Kristy Melendez, a senior majoring in criminal justice.

 “Playing soccer has always had a place in my heart,” Melendez said. “The college level game is very fast paced.”  

According to Melendez, a day in her life as a Division I athlete is full of challenges.

“The daily grind of practices and making sure you stay on top of everything can be rigorous,” she said.

Being a student-athlete can be very demanding Melendez said.

“After a long day, I just want to go home cook, eat and relax,” she said.

Although the grind can be overwhelming at times, Melendez has not lost sight of enjoying her soccer experience at Grambling State University.

“I’ve made many great memories throughout my time here,” she said. “I will always cherish these moments, they are some of the best times of my life.”

Melendez is known by her peers as the ultimate teammate.

“I love seeing others succeed and reach their [maximum] potential honestly,” Melendez said. “It brings joy to me, when I see my teammates accomplish a goal or receive an award.”

 Melendez has concluded her final season of collegiate play and is planning on becoming a lawyer.

“After graduation, I plan to take a semester off while studying for my Law School Admission Test (LSAT),” Melendez said.

Grambling concluded the 2018 season with a record of 14-8 overall, 9-1 SWAC.

Head coach Justin Wagar earned SWAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

GSU finished second in the SWAC Conference, behind Howard University. The defense registered a school-record nine shutouts.

 Unfortunately, the Lady Tigers fell short 1-0, in the Championship game to the Lady Bison of Howard University.

The win allowed the Lady Bison to capture its third SWAC Women’s Soccer Championship.

 Although the Lady Tigers fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the tournament title veteran leaders like Melendez were important throughout the 2018 season.