January 29, 2001
Goals of Life
By Eric Rangus email@example.com
The last goal of Caroline Hoits competitive soccer career was perhaps
the ultimate in redemption.
A senior co-captain on last years soccer team, which reached the
Division III Sweet Sixteen, Hoita prolific scorer in her early careerhad
shifted to the role of playmaker. She registered just one goal all season,
but the midfielders five assists were good enough to tie her for
fourth on the team.
Thats why she was an interesting choice when she was picked as
one of five players for the shootout that would try to break Emorys
1-1 tie with Trinity (Tex.) and send the winner into the Division III
womens soccer quarterfinalsthe Elite Eight.
Particularly since Hoits penalty kick history wass rather spotty.
I missed a PK in high school, in district finals. It was the worst
thing ever, Hoit said. Her team, King High School in Tampa, Fla.,
lost that game to crosstown rival Chamberlain in 1995, her sophomore year.
Weve gone a couple PK games in my college career, and I had
never, ever, taken a PK, Hoit continued. And I never wanted
to take a PK. I was, like, I just cant.
But this year, we were practicing PKs up until the tournament,
and I was just determined to make every single one. I wanted to be ready,
and I wanted to be the one responsible if we had a PK. Ive been
on the sidelines so many times depending on other people, and it was just
time for me to depend on myself.
So Hoit got the call. She was third in the rotation. Down 2-1, Hoit lined
up and fired a knee-high shot to the right of Trinity keeper Jill Di Giampaolo
. . . and found the back of the net, tying the shootout at two.
It was like Id gone full circle, Hoit said. It
was just perfect.
If this was a movie, perhaps thats where the story wouldve
ended. But the euphoria lasted for only for a few minutes. Emorys
final two shooters missed, while Trinity took a 3-2 lead in the final
round, ending the Eagles season at 15-2-4.
It was just one of those games, she said. What can
A four-year starter who played every position on the field except goalie,
Hoits name is all over the Eagle record book. She is Emorys
all-time leader in shots (189) and game-winning goals (12). She is second
all-time in assists (25), tied for sixth in games played (74), eighth
in points (65) and tied for ninth in goals (20).
She is also the first Eagle soccer player to be named all-region four
times (she made second team in 2000 in what was admittedly an off year).
But Hoits skills are not limited to the soccer field. An international
studies major with a journalism minor, Hoit was named an academic all-American
following this past season.
Just 33 soccer players across the country earned that distinction, and
two were from Emory: Hoit, who carries a 3.78 GPA, was a third-teamer,
and junior goalkeeper Andrea Pawliczek, an economics/chemistry double
major with a 4.00 GPA, made the first team.
Honestly, I cant imagine Emory without soccer because its
been such an integral part of my life, Hoit said. [Emory coach
Michael] Sabatelle has always been there and my teammates have always
been there, so its hard to separate the two.
It requires a lot of time, practice, going away on the weekends,
which can get kind of tiring with all your studies. It mentally and physically
exhausts you; thats the toughest thing, in terms of playing a sport.
But I dont think its made it that much more challengingit
makes you that much more focused. I think a lot of athletes would say
A three-sport athlete in high school, Hoit was all-conference in volleyball,
a regional qualifier in the 200 meter dash and a district champion and
team MVP in soccerher favorite sport. So much so that she takes
her soccer talent on the road.
Upon entering Emory, Hoit knew she wanted to study abroad. She chose
Argentina and spent last spring living and taking classes in Buenos Aires.
She took a full load of history and political science classesall
in Spanishand all from an Argentine and Latin American point of
She also played soccer with one of the womens club teams in the
Argentine capital. Womens soccer in Argentina, Hoit said, is growing,
but it still has a ways to go to reach the level in the level it has attained
in the United States.
But I can see the potential, Hoit said. It just has
to catch on. Im sure all the girls who going to be excellent soccer
players arent playing yet. Its just a matter of marketing
the sport throughout the country. Latin America, you could say, is more
of a chauvinistic place.
Among Argentine men, soccer is a religion. The nation has won two World
Cups, and its citizens take the game very seriously. The idea of an elite
woman playing the game, to most Argentine males, is, well, foreign.
I would talk about soccer to the men, and theyd be like,
Soccer? You mean, football? Hoit said mimicking a quarterback
throwing a pass. Because I would say fútbol,because
thats what it is. Everyone would laugh. I would say, Im
on this team. In college. Back in the States. I play a lot. It was
definitely a different experience.
While she enjoyed the experience playing in Argentina, it almost turned
tragic. During a game in May, she felt her leftknee shift out of joint.
I thought it was gone. It was the scariest feeling.
If I had hurt it in March, I might have considered [surgery],
Hoit said. But I thought, this is my senior year. I have a chance
to be a leader. So Hoit declined surgery, went into rehab and played
the season wearing a rather large brace. That knee, more than anything,
contributed to her offensive decline.
But Hoit prefers to stick with the positive, like her last game. Ive
thought about writing an essay on that penalty kick. I just thought I
could put a good twist onto it, she said.
When you write essays for law school, people always think about
obstacles to overcome, but Ive been really blessed in terms of not
getting sick or [seriously] injured. Obviously this year was a bit of
a setback, but Ive dealt with it fine.
With only a few months left before she graduates, Hoit is easing into
the next phase of her life. Shes taking just one class (personal
fitnessa little ironic for an athlete), but she has two internships,
one at CNN International and another at the Carter Center, where shes
working with the Latin American/Caribbean program.
Shes still a little fuzzy on what she wants her next step to be,
but she sees no problem with that.
People tell me, Dont rush into a career,
Hoit said. Obviously Ill need money to support myself, but
Im told its not that big of a deal to take time off.
I want to enjoy my last semester. I think its good that Im making this transition and slowly separating myself.