Red Bulls Leave Lasting Impact on UCF's Spark Plug Radovcic


GO KNIGHTS Nicolette Radovcic (far right) poses outside of Red Bull Arena where she spent many hours working at her summer internship with the New York Red Bulls.
GO KNIGHTS
Nicolette Radovcic (far right) poses outside of Red Bull Arena where she spent many hours working at her summer internship with the New York Red Bulls.
GO KNIGHTS

Sept. 19, 2012

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By Jenna Marina
UCFAthletics.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior forward Nicolette Radovcic has experienced some unforgettable moments -- netting game-winners in overtime, winning the Conference USA championship and advancing to the Elite Eight with the UCF women's soccer team last year.

This summer, she added yet another to the list: The moment she stepped on the game field at Red Bull Arena on the first day of her internship with the New York Red Bulls.

"I've always watched the Red Bulls, even when they used to be the MetroStars," said Radovcic of the MLS team that plays 30 miles from her hometown of Rockaway, N.J. "The first time I ever stepped on their field, I was just (thinking), `Wow. I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe I got this internship.'"

Radovcic has been a reliable weapon for the nationally ranked UCF women's soccer team ever since she joined to the program in 2009. Last season, she led the team in goals scored and has picked up this year right where she left off, currently boasting a team-high five goals, which includes a C-USA-best three game-winners.

Having a firm grip on her abilities on the field, she tested herself this summer with her first internship.

The marketing major knew she wanted to spend the summer before her final year as a Knight at home. Last spring, she scoured the internet for job postings with the N.Y. Giants, the N.Y. Jets and occasionally the Red Bulls.

Luck was on her side one day in March when she stumbled upon an opportunity to work for the marketing team with the Red Bulls. From May 3 until July 30, Radovcic spent time promoting the team and working game days.

The job did have its perks.

"One day I'm walking down the hallway and see (World Cup, European and UEFA Champions League champion) Thierry Henry just texting in the middle of the hallway. And I just thought, `Ahhh, OK. Just keep walking. Just doing my job,'" Radovcic said with a laugh.

She said she enjoyed learning the business side of sports and was surprised by how much she applied the lessons she has learned on the field to the internship. In turn, the internship has helped her with her marketing chair position within UCF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee this year.

"Working with people who aren't motivated, working in a group, having a positive outlook - I took away what I learned at UCF to go on to the next level and it helped me," Radovcic said. "Everything on the field helped me with my internship, but now that I know more of the business side of it, it is helping me so much in SAAC. I am taking those experiences and saying, well why don't we try it here?"

When you watch Radovcic step on the field, it is easy to see her role. She is the spark plug, the motivator, the energizer. Her charge never dies.

So when she had to make a decision this July between running a grueling fitness test on virtually no sleep or missing out on working the Red Bulls' friendly, but important match with the Tottenham Hotspur, which do you think won out?

"My boss told me if I needed to miss the game, I could," Radovcic said. "I said, `No, no, no it's fine I can do this.' I worked until 11 o'clock that night, woke up at 3 a.m., got a 6 o'clock flight and came here to run the fitness test."

Not only did she run the Manchester United fitness test - an endurance test that requires the players to run the length of the field in a certain time limit that keeps diminishing - she was the last woman standing after 21 sprints.

Some may wonder why or how she does it. The response is easy.

She does it for the love of the game.

"Soccer is fun for me. It shouldn't be anything but fun," Radovcic said. "I think this team is going to go very far, and I think working with my team every day and just being around them, they get me motivated to play better. This is my senior year. It's win or go home. That's what is fueling me."

 

 

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