NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The payoff came on the field last month, but the countless hours of grueling work and determination to return for her senior season are what proved Belmont women's soccer player Allie Svoboda's commitment and character.
Svoboda, a senior from Lisle, Illinois, was honored by the Belmont University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) on Friday as this year's first monthly recipient of the Belmont GRIT Award. The forward exhibited the kind of indomitable spirit, perseverance and passion that the award is meant to highlight since its introduction to the Belmont athletics landscape last fall.
Her grit comes from a year-long battle against multiple injuries that limited her to a single game during her junior year in 2017.
"Allie has kept her eyes fixed on a goal of getting back on the field after only playing one minute all of last season," said Belmont Women's Soccer Head Coach Heather Henson. "She put in the hours of work doing physical therapy and rehab all of last year and throughout the summer, and she was faithful to God and the process to get her soccer rhythm back. That all paid off when her moment came against LIU Brooklyn."
Against LIU Brooklyn on Sept 2, Svoboda entered the game trailing 1-0 in the second half for her first action in 350 days. Then in the 87th minute, she split a pair of defenders to score a dramatic goal that sent the game to overtime. The Bruins would win it there not long after.
Svoboda has played in every game since her climactic return, helping Belmont post a 5-3-2 record in those 10 games. She has earned two starts during that stretch.
She and the Bruins continue their hunt for a spot in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament this weekend, hosting league leader UT Martin at E.S. Rose Park on Friday before traveling to Murray State on Sunday.
After injuries derailed her junior season, @Allie_Svoboda never gave up. Her perseverance paid off when she scored in her first game back on the field as a senior Sunday.#itsbruintime #svobodastrong���� pic.twitter.com/UYKSjx9VTK— Belmont Womens Soccer (@BelmontWSoccer) September 5, 2018