CSU’s All-American Soccer Star

By Candace Morrow

Nicole Corcione epitomizes what a true “student-athlete” represents at CSU. A star of the university’s 2015-16 women’s soccer team, the junior nursing student became a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American.

She also earned both Peach Belt Conference and Southeast Region “Player of the Year” titles.

“It takes hard work on and off the field in order to be successful in not only soccer, but life,” said the 20-year-old student-athlete from Candler, N.C. “You have to be willing to put the time in to get the results you want.”

Corcione played in the best season in program history as the Lady Cougars advanced to the national championship in Pensacola, Fla., this academic year.

The third-ranked women’s soccer team faced top-ranked Grand Valley State in the championship match.

“A lot of emotions ran through my head prior to that game,” Corcione said. “I wanted to win, obviously. I was super nervous but yet so excited for the opportunity that our team had been given. I also realized how truly honored and blessed I felt to be there.”

However, the Lady Cougars fell short, 2-0.

“I took a lot away from the experience, despite the loss,” she said. “I learned that win or lose, I will always have so much respect for the soccer program here at CSU. I’m surrounded by some of the best teammates and friends I have ever had. I was really happy to have shared that experience with them.”

The historic season wrapped up with a 22-3-1 record — a new top mark for wins in the season for the program.

CSU captured the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles along the way. The team also earned the Southeast Region championship, becoming the program’s first team to reach the final four.

“This was a special year for our girls, and [our loss] takes nothing away from that,” said head coach Jay Entlich after the championship game. “I’m so proud of everything they accomplished.”

En route to that game, Corcione turned in one of the top seasons in Lady Cougar history, too.

She scored 15 goals on the year and added 13 assists on the season, which ranked third in the country.

The soccer star continued climbing the all-time record charts for the Lady Cougar program, ranking fourth in points (94), fourth in goals (35) and second in assists (24). Her 43 points on the season tied the CSU single-season record set by alumna Stephanie Lowery during 2010.

A soccer player since age 4, Corcione chose CSU because of its strong soccer and nursing programs.

“It’s a unique learning environment because of its smaller class sizes,” Corcione said. “It’s a unique sports environment because of its success with many of the teams here at CSU. My biggest challenge as a student-athlete is time management. You have to be able to balance practice, games and workouts with class, studying and tests.”

Like the difference she makes on the soccer field, Corcione plans to make a difference in health care after graduation.

While she prepares for her future in the nursing, she also readies for next season’s national championship.

“Everyday our team’s goal is to work hard enough to get back to that national championship game — and this time win,” said Corcione. “We’re running more than ever and really trying to grow even closer as a team.”

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Corcione’s Highlights

  • D2CCA All-American First Team (2015)
  • NSCAA All-American First Team (2015)
  • NCAA Division II Elite 90 Award Winner (2015)
  • NSCAA Scholar All-American (2015)
  • CoSIDA Academic All-American (2015)
  • All-NCAA Tournament Team (2015)
  • D2CCA Southeast Region Player of the Year (2015)
  • D2CCA All-Southeast Region First Team (2015)
  • NSCAA All-Southeast Region First Team (2015)
  • Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year (2015)
  • All-Peach Belt Conference First Team (2015)
  • CoSIDA Academic All-District (2015)