Nicole Schwartz: A Former Stallion Thrives on the Soccer Field
Usually in college athletics, and especially for a Division One school (the highest level of competition) starters are rarely freshmen; students need to prove themselves first. Clifton native Nicole Schwartz, Penn State Altoona Goalkeeper for the Nittany Lions soccer team, has already proven to her coaches and teammates that she has earned the role through talent and hard work.
In an e-mail chat with The Clifton Times, Schwartz, a freshman planning on majoring in psychology, said that the competition for starting Goalie was not easy. She said that after graduating from Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) in 2023, she didn’t think she’d have time for soccer and academics. However, she received an email from the school asking her to try out and so she did. “I joined the team a few weeks after the season, started as a walk-on, and had to compete with three other goalies for playtime. After working hard in practices, I got an opportunity to start in my first game and have been the starting goalkeeper since.”
Schwartz was born and raised in Clifton to parents Clemencia and Gary Schwartz and has a younger brother, Jacob. She attended School 5, Woodrow Wilson Middle School, and PCTI for high school. Schwartz’s parents enrolled her in the Clifton Recreational Soccer League where she played through 8th grade, even coming back to coach one year with her best friend, Evangelia Chrisafinis. In addition to Rec league, she also played for a club team and then played varsity soccer all four years of high school. Asked about other hobbies or interests, Schwartz said that she was focused on school and "my life pretty much revolved around soccer," and spending time with family and friends.
Schwartz was recently named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s (AMCC) Defensive Player of the Week for women’s soccer. The honor was earned with a stellar performance for the week including nine saves while compiling a .900 save percentage; she currently ranks fourth in the Conference with a 2.20 goals-against average, third overall in saves at 61, and fourth in wins, with four.
Schwartz is part of a team headed to the second round of the NCAA women’s soccer championship. They are playing again on Friday, November 17th versus Santa Clara University.
The Clifton Times wishes Nicole and her teammates all the best and we will keep you updated should they move on in the tournament.