Chapic finding ways to lead while still playing the game she loves

Jeff Rice
August 07, 2017

Kori Chapic’s playing days aren’t nearly over, but the former Penn State women’s soccer star and Presidential Leadership Academy (PLA) graduate is already passing on what she has learned about the sport to the next generation of players.

Chapic, a defender who made 93 starts in four seasons for the Nittany Lions, now plays for the Cleveland Ambassadors, a semiprofessional team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League (WPSL). She has been able to not only work the soccer around her full-time job as an assistant engineer for Turner Construction Company, but also serve as a mentor for her teammates, many of whom are currently playing or about to play collegiate soccer.

And, beginning this fall, Chapic will also begin coaching the girls’ soccer team at her alma mater, West Geauga High School in Chesterland, Ohio.

“It’s cool to say that hopefully one day I’ll be able to affect some of these players like I was affected as a player,” Chapic said. “Being able to affect a whole new generation prior to going to college and hopefully inspiring these girls to hit that level as well, is the next step.”

Chapic, a center back for the Ambassadors, tries to impart one of the chief lessons she took from her head coach at Penn State, Erica (Walsh) Dambach: Control what you can control.

“Being a voice in their ear and being able to provide insight from the college level is huge,” she said. “On top of it, I’m still able to go out there and play at a high level, which is a big benefit to me, because I am competitive.”

It was a desire to compete, both on the soccer pitch and in the engineering field, that led Chapic to Penn State. When she joined the Presidential Leadership Academy, thanks in part to a recommendation from the athletic department, she said she was able to find perspectives outside her “little silo.”

“I was meeting people from all sorts of different majors and all sorts of different interests from different areas of the United States and outside of that as well,” she said. “Being exposed to all those different people as well as the different experiences in all of our different trips, and having the opportunity to see that there is a lot bigger ocean out there than just this little lake of Penn State or of Penn State soccer or Penn State engineering. It just opened my eyes a little bit more and showed me how everybody can make an impact in different ways to different people.”

Chapic, who graduated with a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering degree in 2016, still follows with interest what her former PLA classmates are up to these days through social media, and sees them striving for and reaching lofty goals. Her goals are to play for as long as her body will allow her to and to help young players reach their own goals.

“If I can make an impact on one player, it’s a benefit to the whole program,” she said, “and that’s enough to keep me going.”



Last Updated August 15, 2017