Nicole Sipfle, co-captain and midfielder of the Grinnell women’s soccer team, talks soccer, Disco Pogo and medical schools.

 

Photograph by Joanna Silverman

What’s your first memory of playing soccer?

My first memories are from playing on a co-ed team when I was younger just because I thought the girls didn’t play hard enough. So I played on a co-ed team for the first two or three years.

 

And you came to Grinnell to play soccer?

Yeah, I was recruited by Coach Benning [’96].

 

How do you prepare before a game?

I usually listen to pump-up music before a game. We always do pre-game as a team.

 

What’s your favorite song?

Disco Pogo.

 

I love Disco Pogo! It played a lot when I was in Europe. Have you gotten a chance to go abroad?

Yeah, I went to Denmark last semester.

 

Have you played other sports?

In high school I played basketball, cross-country, track. But I quit all of them for soccer.

 

If you could be a superstar in any of those other sports, which would it be?

Basketball. I really liked basketball.

 

Who is your sports hero?

Right now, Abby Wambach, but before that Michelle Akers.

 

What’s your major at Grinnell?

Biochem.

 

Why biochem?

I really like science and I wanted to not just focus on biology, and I’m also pre-med.

 

So are you applying to med school right now?

No, I’m going to take a year off. So hopefully I’ll take the MCAT this spring and then apply in the fall.

 

Have you started looking at schools?

A little bit. Mostly just Iowa, because I did research there this past summer, and I really liked it.

 

What kind of research did you do?

Biochem research. It’s hard to explain. I did a lot of x-ray crystallography and determining structures of different proteins.

 

It sounds like you do a good job balancing sports and academics. Has that been a challenge for you?

I find that I get stuff done better during season than out of season because it forces me to manage my time better. All the road trips [can be hard]—it’s really challenging to get your stuff done when you’re on the road and you either need a computer or to go into lab to do something.

 

Who has been your biggest fan?

My parents. They’ve come to most of the games because they’re only an hour away.