By Nicole Monsalve, Duke student communications assistant
DURHAM NC – NC – A It is often assumed that playing for a Division I Institutions like Duke often limit what an athlete can do off the field, but there are athletes like Jane Alukonis, class of '09, who are proof that college athletes at Duke are not. bound only to their sporting commitments during and after their four years.
A four-year starter under Duke head coach Robbie Church Alukonis started 76 of her 84 games with five goals and 11 assists for 21 points throughout her career. Its success did not stop there. As the captain of the senior team, she was selected to the All-ACC Academic Team and finished her career with the Blue Devils as an ACC Honor Roll selection four times and with the ACC Top Six for Service award for her volunteer efforts in Duke.
From an academic perspective, the four-year-old beginner remembers "go to support academic and just say "These are my dreams, can you help me achieve it? "And looking back, probably someone could have laughed at them, but TJ [Grams] said" Yeah, let's do it! "So, you have the support in terms of people helping you get there, Robbie too. I remember Robbie and Billy [Lesesne] called us up and said 'What do you need?' And just making sure we had everything that we possibly needed in terms of letters and academic support, going out into the community and just opening our eyes to other things was really cool. "
At an institution like Duke, it was clear to Alukonis that they were going to support her at all times: "If you say you want to do something, they will do everything possible to help you get there, and that is the coaching staff, they are your teammates. team, and that's academic support, the entire university. " A statement that became more evident when he began to achieve all the goals he ever dreamed of.
At the beginning of her coaching career, "she fell in love with coaching the youngsters" and coached a U16 and U10 women's team along with several soccer camps.
"Coaching youngsters is very different from coaching the older girls, so now in the morning I'm working with the world-class players and then at night I'm working with the youth and helping them develop and hopefully become great players too. It's more teaching with the younger ones and I love that, and it's great to see them fight and grow into strong young girls and really fall in love with the game. It's really very rewarding. "
Alukonis shares "I always thought I would die to be able to train at Duke or UCLA, that was always a big dream," and crazy enough, he now begins his third season on the UCLA coaching staff and has helped guide the Bruins to the NCAA quarter-finals in 2018 and the NCAA College Cup in 2019. She is now ready to begin her first season as an assistant coach with UCLA and has earned her UEFA B coaching license, which she is "very happy and proud of. from ".