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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Savonen ’15 excels on the field and in the classroom

Published: December 5, 2014
Section: News

Tyler Savonen ’15 has been an instrumental part of the Brandeis men’s soccer team and an accomplished student since the beginning of his time at the school. As one of the team’s captains, Savonen helped to lead his team to the Elite Eight this year, all the while maintaining a 3.7 GPA. Savonen is a forward from Orleans, MA. He was named a Capital One Academic All-American and the University Athletic Association 2014 Most Valuable Player.

Michael Coven, the soccer team’s coach, praised Savonen’s leadership and athletic talent, including his ability to motivate and push his team to success.

“His leadership ability is his best quality,” said Coven. “He’s been a leader ever since his sophomore year really, and the team rallies around him. He’s a leader by example and a leader verbally. He’s the one who drives the time during the pre-game. He’s a real leader on and off the field. I think his leadership qualities are one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful.”

The soccer team has had a triumphant season this year, making it to the Elite Eight before losing 3-0 to Oneonta State. Savonen said that walking off the field after the game against Oneonta State was his proudest moment of his soccer career at Brandeis. He said that, though it was a sad moment, he was proud because “not one person stopped working as hard as they could until the final whistle blew. That is essentially all you can ask for, and the fact that my teammates and brothers gave me everything they could possibly have, made me extremely proud.”

Savonen shines off the soccer field as well as on. He is part of the International Business School’s five-year joint bachelor’s/ master’s degree program and plans to pursue real estate development in the future. Balancing soccer and a rigorous academic career has worked to his benefit, Savonen said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. He explained that the structure and support soccer provides has helped to keep him focused.

Coven reiterated Savonen’s dedication to his education, saying, “Studies come first. He doesn’t miss classes. He takes difficult classes … That transcends the soccer field where every single day he works out doing something to enhance his ability.”

Savonen has grown as a player and a student during his time as an undergraduate. Over the course of the 2014 season, he scored 21 points, making him the highest scoring player on the team. Three of these goals were game-winning. He started all 23 games he played this season.

“This year was the culmination of all the hard-work and dedication that [I] and the rest of the senior class have put in to the team for the past four years, and it was a surreal feeling to see the rest of the team look up to us and follow our lead,” Savonen said. He credited the tight-knit team for supporting him as a teammate and as a student.

Savonen is uncertain exactly what he wants to do in the future, but hopes he will find time to fit soccer in to his life. He explained, “I would love to pursue soccer at a professional or semi-professional level, whether that be here in the U.S. or overseas, but I honestly think that my other interests in life are going to take over, and soccer won’t necessarily be a huge part of my future.”

Whether he ends up focusing on soccer, real estate or something different, Savonen is excited for what the postgraduate world holds.

“I’ve always had a strict and organized plan for the future, but for the first time in my life I’m really not sure what will happen or where I will end up, and it actually feels pretty good,” he said.