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Sophomore midfielder Gavin Seele of Penn men's soccer (Photo courtesy of Gavin Seele).

Penn men's soccer midfielder Gavin Seele spent the majority of his freshman season off the field, but now is starting to come into his own in his second year on the team. The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Seele and asked him 15 questions about his experience on the soccer team and his life at Penn.

1. Can you introduce yourself?

Gavin Seele, I’m a sophomore, and I play outside mid[field].

2. I see you’re from outside Philadelphia. Did you consider going to college somewhere further away or always plan on staying close to home?

No, I always wanted to stay close to home because I wanted to be close to my family.

3. Who is your all-time favorite player?

I’d have to go with Messi just because he’s short and I’m pretty short too, and I like the way he plays.

4. If you could play any other Division I sport, which would it be and why?

I feel like golf would be fun. Being a D-I golfer would be kind of cool [because] my dad played golf in college, and I feel like it's a cool thing to brag about.

5. How old were you when you started playing soccer, and how did you choose to pursue it?

I started when I was young, and I think my mom put me into the YMCA [recreational] soccer stuff. Growing up I was always looking forward to practice and it was never boring, so I feel like that’s when I was like, “This is fun, I want to do something with it.”

6. How has the shift been from being a freshman to a sophomore on the team?

So, freshman year you come in, and it’s a lot because you come from a club environment where you’re one of the better players, so coming in as a freshman you’re surrounded by all these kids who are all so extremely talented. The upperclassmen did a really good job of being welcoming, so we have a really good culture. Freshman year coming in it wasn’t bad, but you kind of have to get used to not playing and being a teammate that affects the team off the field. That switch from freshman year to sophomore year, you come in as the youngest guy and you’re trying to learn from people, but being a sophomore you have all these freshmen who look up to you. It’s about being a good role model for them as well as trying to learn and get better.

7. Who’s your biggest inspiration in life, soccer or otherwise? 

My parents — my mom and my dad. They’re both hardworking people and it’s good to have role models like that in your life.

8. Tell me about your most memorable soccer moment.

Last year we won the Ivy Championship. While that was awesome, we played Syracuse in the second round, and losing to them was honestly the most memorable moment, just because it was sad, but also it was kind of a celebration of how far we came. After the game you can take a step back and see how much the team achieved, and that was a very memorable moment because it showed all your hard work has paid off.

9. Do you have a favorite sports-related quote?

Winning is unusual, and therefore requires unusual action.

10. What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Embrace adversity. Honestly, you don’t have too much adversity before college and then you get here and it’s very different. So accepting that, and being ready to deal with it, and kind of just enjoying it. Enjoy the struggle, because the other side you come out better.

11. How do you motivate yourself after a tough loss?

So when we lost to Dartmouth, their celebration was crazy. The stadium was packed, they went up and celebrated with the fans. Looking at that was good motivation to be like, “I’m not gonna let that happen again.” Then it’s time to get back and go to work so when we play them again, we’re the ones celebrating.

12. What’s one regret you have?

I think always you want to be a better teammate, so you have moments where sometimes you think you’re not there for someone, and you wish you were a better teammate or offering them more support in that moment if they needed it. It’s a regret where you wish if a teammate had something going on they could talk about it. It’s just being more emotionally involved with everyone on the team. 

13. What’s your favorite class you’ve taken at Penn?

I took this history class last year, "Making of the Modern World." The professor was a super cool, super nice guy, and the class was super interesting. You had to write a couple essays but they were all on pretty interesting subjects, so I liked that. 

14. What’s your favorite dining hall/food spot on campus?

Last year it was Lauder, because they have the special entrees. We went to Lauder a lot last year and that was our thing.

15. Would you rather fight a bear or a shark? Why?

I’m gonna have to go with the shark. I feel like a shark might get scared and swim away. Whereas if you’re in a fight with a bear you can’t really run away. You just gotta scare the shark. Your energy level doesn’t really matter because you’ll have adrenaline either way. With the shark if you get one good punch you could scare it. But if you’re fighting a bear you’re kind of just chalked.