ST. LEO, FLA. – Genevieve Gignac is among St. Leo University’s greatest student athletes to have stepped on a soccer field.
The five-foot-three midfielder from Ottawa finished her Division II career ranked fifth all-time in games played (72), and sixth in career points (69).
What is even more impressive is her work ethic and how she managed to perform at a high level while she pursued a degree in biology in hopes of becoming a physician assistant in the future.
“Sometimes it’s really hard,” she said. “I have to lock myself in the library for a few hours and then I can do stuff after (with my friends).”
Gignac’s greatest accomplishments include seven game-winning goals, two second team All-SCC awards, one NSCAA All-Region second team award, a SSC All-Tournament team award, and one D2CCA second team All-South Region honour that she earned this past season.
Through all her accomplishments on the field, she remains humble.
“It means a lot, but I think that just helps me individually for confidence,” Gignac said. “I don’t know if it’s something that should mean a lot to a player because a lot of people on the team are great players and don’t get recognized.”
One of Gignac’s biggest inspirations is Canada’s own Diana Matheson. The similarities between Gignac and Matheson’s game goes beyond playing the same position and the affinity for game winners.
“She’s my favourite player because she’s short and I’m pretty short,” Gignac said. “She also scored that game-winning goal to get the bronze medal in the (2012) Olympics. That was a big thing.”
As a student athlete, Gignac believes in the importance of female athletes and what they mean to other women athletes.
“They play a big role,” she said. “Especially now because I feel like women play sports more than before so they have a big role for sure.”
As she moves on to the next chapter in her life, Gignac’s senior year came to a fairy tale end with back-to-back titles in November.
“It (her favourite memory) would be winning the conference and then the next week winning the conference tournament.”