Clausen named to MAC All-Freshman team

By James Nokes

After beginning the season as a walk-on without a guaranteed spot on the NIU women’s soccer team, defender Jenna Clausen finished the season as a member of the MAC All-Freshman Team.

Clausen finished third on the team in scoring with seven points. The highlight of the season for Clausen came on Sept. 30, when the Racine, Wis., native tallied the game-winner against Ohio. It was the first MAC win of the season for NIU and first-year coach Marci Miller.

“I am extremely excited for her,” Miller said. “She came in from day one, with a bad ankle, creamed her fitness test and worked through it because she wanted to play and make an impact. She is a girl that always works hard and never complains.”

Not content with a 5-11-2 record, Clausen has established an ambitious offseason plan to raise her game to the next level and help NIU turn in a winning season.

“In the offseason, I want to learn all the positions on the field and work on my field skills and my footwork,” she said.

Clausen entered as a non-scholarship player and wasn’t sure how she sized up compared to other players. She said her focus was to work as hard as she could and let the coaches sort out who would see action on the field.

“Coming in, I wasn’t sure where I stood compared to the other players,” Clausen said. “I didn’t know how much I was going to play, how many minutes I’d get, or if I’d even play at all. But I came in fit and worked my butt off on the field.”