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Her Jersey number: 2. Her GPA: 3.96
Meet Jenn Paulucci. Johns Hopkins junior. All-American soccer player. Biomedical Engineering major.
She is the first Blue Jay athlete to receive CoSIDA Academic All-American recognition
The anchor to the Blue Jays defense carries a 3.96 GPA while she leads the Johns Hopkins women's soccer program to its highest national ranking in program history.
"We look really, really good," Paulucci, who grew up in Manalapan, N.J., said. "It's probably the best we've ever played."
Johns Hopkins was the first school Paulucci visited during her college search. She knew that she wanted to play collegiate soccer after she led her high school team to a state championship her senior year. She was looking for a strong academic base, but soccer was very important.
"I knew Hopkins had a good soccer program. After seeing one game, seeing the campus, I knew I wanted to come here immediately," Paulucci said.
Managing her schedule is a complicated balancing act. When planning her day, she factors practice in the same as homework, games the same as classes. When she goes on road trips she always keeps up with her homework, even though she's usually too exhausted after a game to wrap her mind around a textbook. Soccer is her ultimate stress reliever.
"It's my outlet. When I play soccer, it all just goes away," she said. "I don't think about my classes, my homework, my tests. I get to go out and just play.
"I knew I was taking on one of the most difficult majors and playing soccer at the same time wouldn't be easy." In order to lighten her academic load during the season, Paulucci stays on campus and takes classes during the summer. She was nervous about staying on schedule for graduation, but a meeting with her advisor lifted that worry. She's on pace to graduate in four years, then maybe she'll go to medical school. She isn't quite sure yet.
For now, she's only concerned about the next game, and Systems Bioengineering, of course.
Johns Hopkins University has a long tradition of excellence among its student-athletes, ranking among the all-time leaders in NCAA Division III history with more than 70 Academic All-Americans and 35 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients.