Michaela Drescher has had a dream of being a professional soccer player since the age of five, and if she continues her current arc, the 20-year old will undoubtedly reach those lofty heights.
Born and raised in Germany, the 5-foot-7 defender for the ASA Lady Avengers has taken quite the path to where she is today – one of the NJCAA's most well-rounded student athletes. Drescher is a near 4.0 student-athlete who has garnered recognition both on and off the field. A 2015 All-Region First Teamer and an All-Region First-Team Academic member, Drescher is looking to parlay her success into a "really good school" next fall. She's on track to graduate from ASA with an Associate's in Business, and is hoping to catch the eye of one of California's most famed institutes of higher learning.
"Stanford is my top choice. But I just really want to be in California. Schools like Cal State-Fullerton and Loyola Marymount University are also some of my favorites. UCLA is great, too, but it's so hard to get there," said Drescher, who noted she'd also like to get into acting and work in the nutrition science fields.
She added that despite ASA's tremendous season that finished 11-1-2, she can't get the bitterness of that lone defeat out of her head – a tough 3-1 loss to rival Monroe in the NJCAA District E Championship.
Had the Lady Avengers won, it would've brought an even larger spotlight to the program and the individual stars like Drescher.
"But we didn't make nationals [championship], so it makes it hard to get noticed [by the larger Division-1 teams]," she said, admitting that all the accolades and winning at ASA pales to coming up short. "We didn't get into the nationals, so it's like we have nothing to show for it. After what we did in the season, I wish we could've won."
But despite the disappointment, following a stellar season for the team and her personally, Drescher shouldn't have any problems catching the eyes of some of the more prestigious programs in the country. She can already count schools like North Dakota State, Pittsburgh, and Fordham as schools that have interest.
She also has dreams of one day making the German national team.
"This season, it was really good for me. I wanted to go for the German National team, but I was told there aren't tryouts. So, then I wanted to do a tryout for the U-20 German team, but I'm 20 already," Drescher said, quickly finding a bright spot, via praise by retired German footballer Kim Kulig, who played for the German senior national team and won the 2009 European Championship. "I wanted to try out for the national team, but she said, 'You have your whole soccer life ahead of you. She's so cool though, I love her. She was such a good player for the national team that I look up to her. I'm just really happy they know my name."
Armed now with even more motivation, Drescher said she's prepared to work harder than ever to obtain her dreams – a dream that began as a five-year old when she played for a boy's team, SV Muenster 1919.
"I was on the field one hour earlier every day [during in-season practices] and going to the gym every day to get better for the season," said Drescher, who is nicknamed The Wall for her defensive prowess, and who was a co-captain this season along with Fabiana Miguel Dos Rios.
"Being captain this year was a dream. It was very cool [and] it helped everything else in my life," Drescher beamed. "Coach [Brett Polow] said me and Miguel were captains for the season, and I was thrilled."
In due time, Drescher will undoubtedly thrill a Division-1 university, the same way she delighted ASA.
- Among her finer achievements so far, Drescher previously played for Darmstadt, a German girls' regional team, and then for Hessen, a girls' state team that won the 2014 title.
- Besides those clubs, as a teen, Drescher also played five years for FFC Frankfurt (a U-17 youth club for the German national league which is considered a top-three tiered squad).