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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 11 2010

NDSU women's soccer player Ryan keeps making believers

Quin Ryan’s part-time job with Gjesdahl Law Office in north Fargo has been very part-time lately. And that’s just fine with the North Dakota State soccer program.

She’s got other pro bono matters at hand, like leading the Bison into the first round of the NCAA tournament. Just getting there represents another step in the Moorhead High School graduate’s college career that some said would never happen.

They said she was too small and not physical enough for Division I soccer. Bison head coach Pete Cuadrado said he heard that “all the time.”

“Always doubters,” Ryan said. “There were doubters when I first started going to the (Twin) Cities that I couldn’t do it. Doubters in high school. Doubters in college … but yeah, it’s been great.”

It’s been busy.

“Busy four years, but amazing,” she said.

The senior is set to graduate in just over four years next summer with two majors and a minor. She currently carries a 3.93 grade point average.

“It’s called discipline,” Cuadrado said. “The kid impresses me every day.”

She’s working with the law firm to prepare herself for law school, which she said is the current plan. She said she wanted to get a feel for what a law office is like.

“Hopefully, soccer won’t be over for another month,” she said, “but eventually I have to prepare for the real world.”

If she does eventually practice law and does courtroom work, look out, especially if her feistiness on the field carries over. At 5-foot-4 and not as strong as most players, she’s conquered the knock against her that she wasn’t big enough to play.

That wasn’t a factor in high school, where she could excel tactically with her speed.

“Now girls were outweighing me by 50 pounds and it got to be a physical battle,” Ryan said. “When I first came, it was a shock people were hitting me as much as they were. Now I’m used to it, now I can stay on my feet and handle them.”

That will be tested Friday against Texas A&M, which has nine players taller than 5-foot-8 and six over 5-10. But NDSU has been hot over the past month, especially Ryan, who has three goals and an assist in the last five games.

She’s the team’s leading scorer with six goals and four assists for 16 points.

“We have nothing to lose,” Ryan said. “It’s a win-win for us if we go out and play hard. If we win, it would be amazing, but it’s just about going out there and playing as hard as we can.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia