By Jeff Shearer
AUBURN, Ala. - You'd think scoring 32 goals would be Casie Ramsier's most impressive statistic at Auburn.
While that's good enough for the top three among all of the soccer players who have worn the orange and blue, there's another number on Ramsier's resume that's even more phenomenal: three, as in the number of degrees Casie will have earned when she leaves Auburn University next August.
By the time she began her senior season this fall, Ramsier already had two Auburn University Honors Scholar degrees -- in accounting and finance, with a 3.92 GPA.
While leading the soccer team to a program-record seven consecutive wins this season, Ramsier began working on a master's degree in accounting, which she plans to complete by next August.
Quite a countdown: four years, three degrees, two bachelor's, one master's.
"It's not easy," Ramsier said. "You're going to have to put in the work. You're going to have to sacrifice some nights, and you're going to have to stay up late and get your work done, but it's going to pay off."
For Ramsier, part of the payoff includes already landing a job with the accounting firm for which she interned last summer in her hometown of Dallas.
"You may not see the results every day but in the long run you will," she said. "That pays off. Your discipline and your hard work. People will see that and respect that. It will help you so much."
Ramsier credits Auburn soccer coach Karen Hoppa for stressing academics and reminding her student-athletes that the student part comes first.
"Everything that you give her, she's going to excel at," Hoppa said. "She's very driven, very focused. Makes the most of her academic talents, just like she makes the most of her athletic talents."
Ramsier says the demands of playing soccer at Auburn, while time-consuming, made her a better student.
"It helps you stay organized and helps you get ready for the day," Ramsier said. "Even in job interviews, people ask how we manage that. Being a student-athlete sets you apart from others, being able to balance academics and athletics is huge. If you can succeed in that, employers will see that. If you can manage that, it will be a huge advantage for you."
"Having been a student-athlete myself, seeing what these guys go through, it definitely prepares them for the work force in many ways that they won't even realize until they're in those jobs," Hoppa said.
Ramsier hopes to lead Auburn to postseason success in the SEC and NCAA Tournaments. She's still figuring out how she'll be able to make soccer a part of her corporate career.
"It will be tough to be away from the game," she said. "Here, I'm used to it every day. I'm still going to have to get my fill somehow, whether that's playing on the weekends or coaching, or going and watching games, I'll have to find some way."
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @jeff_shearer