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Monday, Oct. 22, 2018
San Cartier a two-sport threat at Oakland
by Randy Pascal

With her first three years at Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan) now in the books, Serena San Cartier realizes that her days with the Golden Grizzlies are numbered more heavily behind her than ahead.

All of which provides for some interesting perspective for the two-sport NCAA athlete.

Recruited primarily to join the Oakland women's soccer program, San Cartier has seen her team develop nicely during her time at the school. "We just came off a superb season, won the league, went to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history," noted the graduate of Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School.

"For the senior group, it's just really exciting and we're looking to build off the success of last year." And plenty of success there was. The Oakland ladies captured the Summit League Championship last fall, earning an automatic berth in the national championship field of 64 teams.

A first round match-up with the powerful Ohio State Buckeyes provided the setting for history in the making as the Golden Grizzlies emerged victorious in NCAA tournament play for the first time in program history, taking down their Big Ten opponent in a shootout, 1-1 (3-1).

San Cartier assisted on the only Oakland goal in regulation time. Heading to Tallahassee (Florida) just a few days later, the underdog could not repeat the feat, falling 3-0 to the Texas A & M Aggies.

Still, there was little down time for the Sudbury product, immediately beginning her preparation for both the indoor track and field season and outdoor campaign, as well.

Once again, there was new ground to be broken. "Track-wise, this was my first year getting a medal at the conference championships, so that was exciting," said San Cartier.

The middle of three girls in the family, San Cartier garnered a bronze medal in the 60m hurdles at the Summit League Indoor Track & Field Championships, posting a time of 8.56 seconds.

The track and school year completed, San Cartier resumed her soccer career locally, suiting up with the Sudbury Canadians of the OWSL (Ontario Women's Soccer League).

"Coming out of track season, I always want to get my game fitness back up," said San Cartier. "Being with (Sudbury coach) Frank (Malvaso) always helps me with that. There's always things I want to work on."

Given the heavy academic demands, coupled with her two-fold involvement in athletics, San Cartier intends to spend two more years at Oakland University. In her final year (2014-2015), she will enjoy the opportunity to focus on one sport only for the first time during her career with the Golden Grizzlies, her soccer eligibility completed come this November.

Her wish list, moving forward, includes another visit to the NCAA tournament for she and her soccer teammates, and perhaps a gold or silver medal on the track.

"Personal bests are always good, maybe a school record," said San Cartier. "There's lots of room for improvement." But only so much time, still ahead, at Oakland University.

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