Ohio Dominican’s Pavlik ready for NCAA tourney
By Brian Dzenis
Alli Pavlik has made up for lost time.
Her senior season at Ohio Dominican featured a six-game absence because of a sprained ACL, the only injury she’s experienced in her entire soccer career.
But now the former Lakeview star is in top form as the Panthers are set to play the Grand Valley State Lakers today in the second round of the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament.
Pavlik put the Panthers in that spot with both her team’s goals in a 2-1 win against McKendree.
“Anyone who knows me knows I don’t handle sitting out well, so when I sat out those six games, I couldn’t wait to come back,” Pavlik said. “This game happened and it all just hit me. My motto for that whole experience was ‘a greater setback means a greater comeback.’ That game was the major comeback that I waited so long and worked so hard for.
“Honestly, it was the best feeling I ever had and probably the best day of my life.”
The the 2014 Lakeview graduate left Cortland with 137 career goals and 27 assists and two district final appearances. Even in an injury-shortened season, she’s still the team’s second-highest scoring player with 11 goals and three assists.
Today’s matchup with the Lakers and GVSU Soccer Field brings her to a familiar place.
“In my freshman year, they had a winning streak of 69 games and we broke that streak. We ended up splitting the conference title with them and we made the NCAA tournament,” Pavlik said. “Now we’re in the tournament and we’re coming here and we’re playing them again.
“It brings it full circle and it’s neat to be in almost the same place as freshman year, but now we’re making better history in my senior year.”
While this season marks her last with the Panthers soccer team, she’s not quite done at Ohio Dominican and with it’s sports teams. She’s pursuing her masters degree in business and will use her one year of eligibility to play women’s basketball. Her track record on the court at Lakeview was just as good as on the pitch. In her senior season, she averaged 27 points-per-game and left as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,568 points. That season, combined with her prowess on the soccer field, made her The Vindicator’s Female Athlete of the Year for 2014.
“I’m really excited about that. I get one more year of competing at the college level, so I figured I would take that advantage,” Pavlik said. “I’m excited to get back into basketball again.”