08 Oct Junior goalkeeper Ella Frantzen brings confidence to women’s soccer
As fall sports resumed this season, the question on many athletes’ minds was how the effects of COVID-19 would still be felt. For Tufts women’s soccer, that question is a complicated one. Though spectators are now permitted at games, and athletes are no longer required to wear face masks while playing, the last time the team competed together was fall 2019. That was junior goalkeeper Ella Frantzen’s first year at Tufts and on the team.
The last time Frantzen competed was when she lived in Tilton Hall. In between classes and practice, she sat in her common room drinking orange juice straight from the jug. Fast forward two years later, Frantzen officially outgrew her orange juice obsession and is now considered a veteran on the team.
“It definitely feels odd to be considered an upperclassman [especially because we missed last season] – and we’re for sure still figuring out exactly what that means – but it is cool to know that we have such an active role and impact on the team,” Frantzen wrote in an email to the Daily.
Ultimately, what makes a veteran isn’t necessarily the number of minutes spent competing. It’s about mindset, maturity and self-confidence. These qualities are very much evident in how Frantzen speaks about her team and her role on it. Though she’s currently on the mend after shoulder surgery from this past summer, Frantzen radiates confidence when speaking about her recovery plan and outlook for the season.
“We know we are capable of winning a NESCAC championship and making a deep NCAA run, we just need to get into our groove,” she said.
Despite a respectable 5–3 start to the season, Frantzen and her team are far from complacent. To her, getting the Jumbos in championship form means reestablishing team chemistry and prioritizing fundamentals.
“[This start is] not accurate of how talented we are this year and we’re all looking forward to figuring out how we tick, again,” Frantzen said. “Moving forward, we just need to get back to focusing on the basics and work on finally putting together an entire 90 minutes of clean Jumbo soccer.”
Back home growing up with three siblings, Frantzen learned to be fiercely independent. While her siblings, Tolson, Story and Arden, loved staying in and reading, Ella preferred running around chasing big dogs in the rain. Even today, she jokes about her inability to sit still. If she couldn’t drag her siblings out for adventure-seeking, she gladly pursued these endeavors on her own.
This boldness translates well to the field; Frantzen’s fearlessness and gut instincts shine when she’s keeping the net. Her saves can only be described as explosive, and while penalty kicks may seem like a goalkeeper’s worst nightmare, Frantzen finds these high-pressure scenarios thrilling. She says that there’s no time to overthink when the fate of the game lies solely in her hands.
Even off the field, Frantzen makes sure to occupy her restlessness. As a chemistry major and member of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Frantzen is perpetually running on coffee and four hours of sleep. Her packed schedule leaves her with little free time to call home, read or prepare anything other than peanut butter toast for meals. At the end of the day though, she insists wouldn’t change any aspect of her schedule.
“Fighting on the field for Tufts and eventually fighting on the lines for this country are what it’s all about for me,” Frantzen said.
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