Freshman midfielder Dylan Lewis has made 16 starts for the UCSB women’s soccer team (Courtesy of UCSB Athletics)

University of California in Santa Barbara (UCSB) freshman Dylan Lewis rose quickly to become a key contributor in the Gauchos women’s soccer team. She was a starting midfielder for 16 out of 19 games, more than any other player on the team this season.

Making an impact on the team early in the career was a goal for Lewis.

“Of course, our first college start, I was definitely nervous, kind of panicked a little bit,” Lewis said. “I loved just being able to continue to the team and we had a really good season and I was just very happy to be a part of that.”

Earning a starting spot was a difficult feat, Lewis worked hard to achieve it. As the season progressed, her teammates and coaches helped her be a young contender on the college level. Lewis believes the coaches were impressed by her determination.

“From the start of being here in the summer, I just never stopped working, never stopped giving up, always had that drive to win a starting spot,” she said. “I think what they saw was someone who can definitely come in and keep the relationship consistent on and off the field.”

Lewis earned her first assist in against the Idaho Vandals in September, the Gauchos won 3-0. The next game, she made a season high of six shots against the Grand Canyon Antelopes, they ultimately tied 1-1. With Lewis’ help, the Gauchos reached the Big West Tournament Semifinals.

During her freshman season, Lewis made three goals, eight points, 26 shots and 14 shots on goal.  Scoring her first collegiate goal against the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners was the highlight of her freshman campaign.

“It was kind of difficult trying to score a goal, I had so many opportunities before,” Lewis said. “In that game, I finally put that first one away. I never will forget the feeling and the moment of scoring my first goal.”

Lewis is a biology major; faculty members and staff help her find methods to balance being a high performing student and athlete.

“We do have resources to get tutors if we need to in classes,” Lewis said. “We do have a study hall center that’s available for us that we can always go to and get study time and meet with tutors, meet with time management advisors that help plan out you week by week.”

Among the various classes she has taken, she enjoyed taking a Nutrition and Health class.

“It’s so essential to my life now being an athlete, just knowing what to put in my body and what not to and how to have a proper meal,” Lewis said.

Outside of her efforts on the field and in the classroom, Lewis enjoys volunteering for kid’s camp at UCSB. In kid’s camp, she facilitates trainings, drills and scrimmages for the youth. She also gets time to talk to the kids and answer questions they have.

“it’s just so fun to come out and play with the kids because they do come out to games pretty often,” Lewis said. “After the game, you always have kids running up to you asking you to sign their shirt and I just love that.”

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