May 18, 2013
By Jerry Hill
Baylor Bear Insider
Dana Larsen doesn’t remember setting a specific goal of graduating Magna Cum Laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA as a bio-chemistry major.
“I’ve just always been the kind of person that wants to try my hardest at whatever I’m doing,” said Larsen, who is one of 86 Baylor student-athletes who will graduate this weekend with 82 bachelor’s degrees and four master’s. “If it was an A or a B, I just wanted to make sure I put in all of my effort, kind of like what I do with soccer.”
The 2012 Capital One Academic All-America of the Year for women’s soccer and a third-team All-American on the field, Larsen has served as an inspiration to her teammates for the last four years.
“She’s been an unbelievable role model to a lot of those young kids,” said Baylor soccer coach Marci Jobson. “I know there have been many kids that have said they wanted to be like her and that she’s inspiring. A lot of people look up to her. I mean, I look up to her in a lot of ways. She does what so many of us strive to do in our life is to do the very best we can in all the different areas.”
On the field, Larsen led the Bears with 11 goals, nine assists and 31 points in helping the team win the Big 12 Championship title and reach the third round of the NCAA Championship for the first time in program history. For her career, she ranks fifth with 29 goals and fourth with 17 assists and 75 points.
“What’s so cool about her soccer is she came in as a good player,” Jobson said. “But she had a lot to improve on, and she continually worked and got to be an outstanding player.”
Along the way, Larsen said she had a few close calls in her classes – “There were a couple my freshman year, especially.” But she finished with a perfect GPA and was just accepted to the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston this week.
“It’s definitely exciting. It’s something that I’ve worked very hard at trying to achieve,” she said of her medical school acceptance. “But at the same time, there’s always going to be nerves. You’re moving out of the house where you’ve lived for three years, moving away from your teammates and starting a new adventure. And while that’s exciting, it’s also going to be kind of scary at times. I just want to see where it takes me.”
Larsen doesn’t plan on totally giving up soccer. Her plan is to volunteer and coach a youth soccer team, “just to basically fill that time and give me some other purpose besides school work, because I think that could get old after a while.”