Sports

Dana Costello: Soaring Through the Record Books

dana-costello-jim-remeBeing an athlete is difficult in itself; however to play consistently at a high level is what separates the good players from the great ones. It is very rare when a player can leave their mark on a program's athletic history at any level. Yet, that is exactly what senior forward Dana Costello has done over her illustrious career as a women's soccer player at Monmouth.

She has 27 goals and 28 assists for her collegiate soccer career as a Hawk. Her efforts total up to 82 points. This lands Costello 8th all-time in points for the MU women's soccer program. Dana is second all-time in assists with the 28, trailing only Christie Pierce.

"I think it is unbelievable because if you look at the names that are on top of the list with Christie Pierce and Amy DeValue, they were unbelievable athletes here. To know that for a long time that when you say those names, I'll be there too, it's a very humbling feeling," explained Dana.

Dana traces her soccer roots to her hometown of Jackson, NJ, a short drive away from Monmouth. While living in Jackson, she played club soccer for the Toms River Hurricanes until she attended Jackson Memorial High School. Dana has always been an athletic woman; in high school she started as a forward for soccer and point guard for basketball.

"It was just something about soccer. I couldn't find anything else that gave me as much joy then running around a field and kicking a ball," Dana continued. "I love basketball, and I was recruited to play basketball here before I was recruited for soccer. Soccer was always in my heart, it's my passion."

Dana played several sports as she grew up, but she was able to follow her passion with support from her role model. Her father really guided her along the way to narrow down her choices, and ultimately choose soccer for her collegiate athletic career.

"He's just an unbelievable person. He's so selfless, and so calm," Dana said. "He also has intensity and the way he portrays himself is remarkable. Even in games I've played and done well in he's always like you could have done better. That is huge, because I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have that push or that drive."

Even though her dad played an important role in her life, she also credits her high school basketball coach Rachel Goodale as another role model that pushed her and gave her the will to persevere.

"She never gave up on me. Having someone that believes in you that's motivation in itself," Dana said.

Perhaps one of the reasons Dana has been so successful in her career is the words she lives by: no regrets. She believes in living in the moment, and laying everything on the line. Whatever her team needs from her she will accept and meet the challenge, Dana explained. Even if they want her to change positions she will do what is best for her team.

Although her soccer career at Monmouth is nearing its end, Dana hopes to remain attached to sports.

"I would really love to play soccer," Dana said in regards to her future. "Even if I don't get invited to a pro workout, I want to attend an open tryout. I don't want to have any regrets in life. But that's not to say that if it didn't work out, I wouldn't want to become a teacher and become a coach because sports are my passion and I love helping the youth."

Even though Dana will be remembered as a great athlete for Monmouth University, she also hopes to be remembered as a great person. "I want people to remember me as a great teammate, a great competitor, and someone who never gives up," Dana concluded.

PHOTO COURTESY of Jim Reme