Parise serves as GV’s last line of defense

Joe Maher-Edgin

It takes a person with patience and a keen set of organizational skills to solve an 1,000-piece puzzle. It takes a person with wit and sharpened skill to decipher a difficult brain teaser. In soccer, it takes a person with courage and charisma to stand as the person who must stop shots blasted towards goal — the person who is a team’s last line of defense.

For the Grand Valley State University women’s soccer team, junior goalkeeper Chelsea Parise is that person.

“I love playing goalie,” Parise said. “I kind of have that crazy personality that I think every goalkeeper has because you’re throwing your face at people’s feet.”

In 2010, Parise helped lead GVSU to its third-consecutive NCAA Division II National Championship with a 0.21 goals against average, a .938 save percentage and 17 shut outs. She has picked up where she left off last season by recording 19 saves in GVSU’s first four games.

“She’s athletic and very instinctual,” said GVSU head coach Dave Dilanni. “She’s a great communicator and organizer of our back line.”

Dilanni said he sees Parise as a great team leader and a hard worker, both in matches and on the training ground.

“Parise is a great person to follow — she’s a role model and a mentor,” He said. “She is learning to train to lead by example. When it’s goalkeeper session she goes as hard as she can and sometimes we have to hold her back. She’s very intense and gives her all during training which is how you get better.”

Parise said she believes leading by example and good communication are keys to successfully leading her back line and the team as a whole.

“It’s talking with the back line,” she said. “It’s settling them down, talking to them individually. It’s making sure I’m on my game. That’s the most powerful thing because my actions are contagious and then that will feed off to the rest of the players.”

Senior defender Megan Brown admires Parise’s competitive spirit and knowledge of the game.

“She’s not scared to make her voice heard on the field and she knows the game,” Brown said. “She guides the forwards and midfielders, screaming all the way up and down the field.”

As her roommate, Brown says there is little that changes in Parise’s personality from both on and off the pitch.

“She’s very competitive in her personality and never wants to let anybody down,” Brown said. “She has a lot of confidence and a every goalkeeper has to have that.”

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