Rachel Comfort C’23 will intern for the Austin FC II soccer club as part of a Women in Sports Tech fellowship
May 2023 – The members of the Drew University College of Liberal Arts Class of 2023 are set to graduate and start their careers and continue their education in an array of disciplines, fields, and subjects.
We’ve talked with many C’23 students to see where they’re headed.
Rachel Comfort C’23 | Women in Sports Tech Fellow – Video Analyst with Austin FC II
Major: Statistics & Leadership
What will you be doing after you graduate?
I received a fellowship through the organization Women in Sports Tech, which has provided me with the opportunity to intern with Austin FC II, a professional men’s soccer team in the MLS Next Pro league. As the team’s video analyst, I will be collecting data during training sessions, breaking down tactical footage, and providing insights based on video to the staff during games. This position will allow me to learn about the innovative sports technologies that are being utilized at the highest level of professional soccer in the U.S.
How did Drew prepare you for this opportunity?
I’m a huge advocate for the immersive experience graduation requirement at Drew since it allows students to apply their knowledge, discover what they like, and learn from firsthand experience. I have had numerous internships and roles outside the classroom that have had an incredible impact on my professional career, academic endeavors, and personal life. In addition to an internship with Greenville Triumph SC, a USL League One team in South Carolina, during the summer before my senior year, the opportunity to create my own analytics project and work with various athletic teams at Drew enabled me to gain knowledge and skills that set me apart from others in my career field. I’m extremely grateful to [Men’s Lacrosse Coach] Dan Leidl and [Director of Athletics and Women’s Soccer Coach] Christa Racine for their willingness to collaborate with me on my ideas.
Furthermore, the opportunity to complete an honors thesis, Soccer Substitution Patterns: Analysis of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, was an all-encompassing experience that I am extremely grateful for. It was awesome to see a small idea spark into a project that I was extremely passionate about and will act as a foundation in my future career.
Overall, I think Drew provides students with immense opportunities if the student is willing to take a chance at the possibilities that are unknown. In addition, I simply appreciate the individuals, whether they be professors, friends, or members of the staff, who I’ve had the pleasure to connect with and experience life with while in The Forest.
Do any Drew professors or classes stand out?
At Drew I was given the opportunity to design my own special major in Statistics & Leadership, which allowed me to tailor my educational experience specifically towards my aspirations of being a soccer analyst or coach. Sarah Abramowitz [John H. Evans Professor, Chair of Mathematics and Computer Science, and Chair of Business] has been a tremendous advisor throughout my time at Drew. Her dedication to her profession is incredible as she is always willing to help in order for her students to succeed. She has taught me that I can accomplish great things when I believe in myself and I’m grateful for her continuous support.
One of my favorite courses at Drew has been Dan Liedl’s Performance Psychology course, which let me explore the behavior of high performers, gain a deeper connection to the world of sports, and make my own podcast.