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Shaffer looks forward to return to field

Parkland High School graduate and Muhlenberg College senior Carly Shaffer has always been known to have a good head on her shoulders. Whether that was earning honors in the classroom or clearing the defensive zone on the soccer field, Shaffer uses her intellect to find success in all that she does.

And following her time at Parkland, she has continued to blossome.

“As a student-athlete majoring in biology on the pre-med track with a religion studies minor, I have learned to balance both academics and athletics on and off the field,” said Shaffer. “I’m continually challenging myself, persevering through adversity, and taking on leadership responsibilities. Starting as both a defensive center midfielder and as a center back for Muhlenberg, I have become a natural leader through the role of my position, providing the coaching, insight, and support necessary for my teammates and I to be successful. Off the field, I have had the opportunity to get involved in research in the biology department at Muhlenberg along with working as a podiatric medical assistant at Allentown Family Foot Care and volunteering at St. Luke’s Hospital.”

Some high school students like to get away from home for their college years. Others like to remain close. That was the case with Shaffer.

“The opportunity to pursue a future career in medicine and continue to play the sport that I love,” Shaffer said. “Along with its beautiful campus, Muhlenberg has a well-respected pre-med program and biology department, which is one of the main reasons I decided to come here. Muhlenberg is known to provide undergraduate students with excellent preparation for the challenges of admission to and success in medical school.”

The Centennial Conference, like many others across the country, canceled fall sports due to the pandemic. But there is hope that the fall sports seasons will pick up in the spring. The plans are in place to make that happen.

“Although our season was canceled for the fall, I am hoping to have the opportunity to finish out my senior season this spring,” said Shaffer. “I am looking forward to getting back on the field with the team and training to win a Centennial Conference championship.

“For the fall, student-athletes who were approved to be on campus are able to continue to prepare and train for a possible spring season. Those who are approved, including myself, are phasing back into the normal practice and lifting routine with social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Parkland gave Shaffer the best of both worlds in preparation for college. It helped her with a routine of working hard at her studies and on the field. On the field, Shaffer contributed immediately, starting all but one game her freshman season and has started in 50 of 51 career games.

“As a former student-athlete at Parkland, I am grateful for all of the successes that I had both on the field and in the classroom that prepared me for college and medical school in the near future,” Shaffer said. “I was able to receive a great education that led me down the path of pursuing a career in medicine while also learning and competing to be the best soccer team in the conference with coach [Al] Haddad.

“Upon arrival on campus as a freshman, I was able to compete and make an impact on the field immediately. Off the field, I was able to form new relationships within the Muhlenberg community and provide care to local communities as well.”

In the classroom, Shaffer has been named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll twice.

“To balance both academics and athletics, especially while playing a sport on the pre-med track, I think the most important key to success is time-management and having the motivation to be the top of the class,” Shaffer said. “I always make sure that I have a game plan for each week so that I am able to accomplish the goals that I set for myself.”

PRESS PHOTO COURTESY OF MUHLEBERG COLLEGE ATHLETICS Parkland gradaute Carly Shaffer has started 50 games in her three-year college soccer career.