Senior Spotlight: #15 Jamie Cheslik
Exceeding the Expectations
By Sidney Binger, MSU Athletic Communications Student Assistant
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Closing in on her senior season at Northville High School, Jamie Cheslik went out in a most memorable way. Most players would be excited to know they won the state championship game, but for Cheslik, scoring the winning goal was just the icing on top of it all.
Moments like these would only continue to happen for her, only now she would be representing the Green and White of Michigan State.
Cheslik was very aware that college soccer could be in her future, and it didn't hurt that she had some help getting there.
"The club team I was on did a really good job of making college a priority in your life. Kind of just playing on the club team I was on, and stressing the fact that you could get a scholarship and you can go and you can play pushed me to come and find what I wanted to do for the next four years of my life or so," Cheslik said.
She had many offers, but for her the Big Ten was a place where she pictured herself. Finally, she narrowed her options down, only to be blown away with what Michigan State and East Lansing had to offer.
"I liked that it was close to home. I love the coaches. The campus is so nice and the people here are so awesome," Cheslik said. "I think just kind of coming on my visit and being able to see this atmosphere, and knowing that my parents can come to the games and I can still see my friends from back home had a big impact on that."
Though her visit seemed like only yesterday, Cheslik is now in her final season as a Spartan and has exceeded many expectations. Over her four years, she has made many outstanding plays and accomplished so much. Cheslik has started in every game of her college career, and led the squad in points in both 2014 and 2016. She is on pace to do the same this year, with a team-high 16 points. In her career, Cheslik has notched 10 game-winning goals. Finishing and putting games away has seemed like a breeze for Cheslik.
"They're probably the best moments you can have in a game. Just knowing that you're the reason the team won. Obviously you have your team behind you, and you couldn't do it without them, but knowing that you're able to do that for them and make everyone happy at the end of the day is probably the best feeling about it all," Cheslik said.
In game situations such as those, many players can lose themselves and become frantic. Cheslik, on the other hand, continues to stay calm and focused to help her team pull off the victory.
"I think just kind of calming your team down and knowing if we work on it as a team and get up together and defend together and just work hard for the last couple minutes we can get it done and walk of the field smiling."
Achieving so many incredible goals and competing to the level she does every day has continued to catch the attention of the community outside of Michigan State.
In the last three years, she has received honors that include Big Ten All-Freshman Team, ESPNW Player of the Week, Big Ten Player of the Week and Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week. Cheslik, although honored, believes none of it is possible without her team.
"I mean I think it's awesome, but at the end of the day I wouldn't be getting these awards without my teammates so they definitely have an impact on how I feel about the awards."
Of course, she doesn't fail to mention her parents and amazing support system.
"I think they are proud of me. They're the ones always sharing it on Facebook and Twitter. It's a good feeling knowing that people are keeping up with me and staying on track and are proud of the things I've accomplished," Cheslik said.
All these accomplishments, memories, and games are things that Cheslik will keep with her, but she isn't done achieving them yet.
Graduation for her is coming up fast, but she still has her final season to close out and hopes to continue helping her team succeed as much as possible.
"I'm just hoping that we can get a couple more wins under our belt and walk out of this season a lot more proud than how our Big Ten season started."