Gryzik to play soccer at UIC

Luka Turanjanin, Sectional Editor

When the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) offered Hannah Gryzik a chance to play soccer at the next level, Gryzik wanted to check out the school first.

The thought of being in a city and getting to play soccer for a local program crossed Gryzik’s mind. And after touring the university’s campus, Gryzik knew for sure that UIC was the best fit.

“I loved the thought of being in the city, and it was a great opportunity for me financially,” Gryzik said.

On Nov. 10, Hannah Gryzik signed a contract to confirm her commitment to play soccer at the University of Illinois Chicago.

The achievement stems not only from Gryzik’s effort on the Elk Grove girls soccer team, but from many years of passion for the sport alone.

“From the first time I picked up a soccer ball I started loving it,” said Gryzik. 

Gryzik started playing soccer at the age of 4. She later played for a local soccer club in her area while trying to take on more challenges as a player.

“It was kind of an escape because the discipline of it was different from the discipline of schoolwork,” Gryzik said.

Currently, Gryzik is a part of a year-round soccer club in addition to her time with Elk Grove. She said her experiences playing year-round have helped her gain important life lessons.

“I definitely think I’ve learned the idea of resilience, and not to just win but to get better and always learn something,” said Gryzik.

Gryzik said she believes her passion for soccer will increase when she starts attending UIC, as she said moving to the next level excites her.

“I definitely think going into college and participating in a sport as well will help me transition into having a schedule for my life right away,” Gryzik also mentioned.

Gryzik’s passion for soccer wasn’t only intrinsic. She also has had the support of many close people around her when it came to competing in soccer, including both her parents and soccer coaches. 

Gryzik also thanked her teachers, both past and present, for being compassionate and understanding when things were tough for her academically due to her dedication for soccer.

“My teammates and coaches have always been a huge part of my life, and helped me gain love for it as well,” Gryzik said. “I’ve just wanted to see how far I can push myself.”