Calling on a doctor

Laura Ellison started playing soccer when she was three years old, racing up and down the fields of Salt Lake City for fifteen years before coming to Portland State in 2005.

Laura Ellison started playing soccer when she was three years old, racing up and down the fields of Salt Lake City for fifteen years before coming to Portland State in 2005.

Ellison, a junior defender on the Vikings second-place soccer team, is a hard working, family oriented, young woman with a love for the outdoors and helping others.

A biology major with a grade point average near 4.0, Ellison has earned a spot on the Big Sky Conference’s All-Academic Team in each of her two previous seasons at Portland State.

“Laura’s an excellent student and very intelligent,” said head soccer coach Tim Bennett. “She’s a motivated individual and whatever she decides to do after school she will be very, very successful.”

As of now, Ellison has her sights set on attending medical school in the future and traveling abroad as a doctor.

“I have some doctors in my extended family that have traveled quite a bit,” Ellison said, “but, I was watching Oprah one day, which I never watch, and there was a woman on there talking about the scarcity of women throughout the world performing simple surgical procedures. There’s a need for that.”

Filling a need is something Ellison has became accustomed to while playing for the Vikings. The junior may not get a lot of name recognition, but her gutsy play and hard work stand out on the field and are certainly keys to the Vikings success.

Patrolling the back line of the defense, Ellison has become a stalwart defender known for making plays when her team needs her most.

“It’s taken Laura about a year and a half to figure out all the little nuances of defending, but she’s been very strong for us this year,” Bennett said.

Ellison displayed her grit and determination earlier this season in 2-1 victory versus the University of California, Davis. Early in the first half, Ellison collided with a UC Davis player as they were both going in on a header.

Following the collision, the Aggie player was knocked out of the game. Fittingly, Ellison, the aspiring doctor, only needed slight medical attention. Looking like a wounded soldier, Ellison played the rest of the way with a bandage wrapped around her head, only coming out in the final minutes when the bandage failed and blood was running down her cheek.

Off the field, Ellison enjoys Portland and all the outdoor activities Oregon has to offer. She chose Portland State partly because she has some family nearby but also because of how green the scenery is and the city’s reputation.

“My first year up here I didn’t get around much, but since then, my roommate Kaci [Mashburn] and I have biked all over Portland,” Ellison said. “I love going to 23rd or Hawthorne, and exploring all the little funky parts of town.”

On Sunday, Ellison contributed the game-winning assist at the University of Montana, sending a corner kick across the front of the net and waiting before sophomore midfielder Nathalie Wollmann headed it in for the go-ahead score. Beating Montana and having a hand in the game winner gave Ellison, who has a 22-year-old brother that attends Montana, some serious bragging rights.

“It was rough at times, but he’s always backed me up and supported me, and never missed any of my games,” Ellison said of her brother.

After the corner-kick assist, the future Doctor Ellison now has two goals and three assists on the season. And she’s always hanging around for another moment to just help out.

Weekend soccer roundup

Friday: Eastern Wash. 2, Portland State 1

Through the first 45 minutes, neither squad scored a goal. But in the second half the Vikings and Eastern Washington exchanged goals in the short span of 81 seconds.

Senior defender Juli Edwards struck first for the Vikings, connecting on a 20-yard free kick in the 55th minute. Less than two minutes later, Eastern Washington senior forward Cyeeta Mott found the back of the net, tying the score at one goal a piece.

In the 65th minute, junior midfielder Brittney Doran gave the Eagles their first win of the season when she scored on a penalty kick.

Sunday: Portland State 2, Montana 1

Senior defender Juli Edwards, who had three shots on the afternoon, rocketed a shot past the goalkeeper in the 15th minute to give the Vikings an early lead.

The Grizzlies fired back in the 49th minute, when freshman forward Kaitlyn Heinsohn headed in a goal.

Off a perfectly placed corner kick from junior Laura Ellison in the 71st minute, sophomore midfielder Nathalie Wollmann scored a header. With the win, Portland State moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Big Sky.