« DI Men’s Soccer 2012

Jannis Opalka

School

Siena

Position
Defender
Major
Management

Classroom

Opalka currently maintains a 3.9 cumulative GPA through the Summer 2012 semester while majoring in Management. Following his junior season last fall, he was named a Capital One Academic All-District I First Team selection, an NSCAA Scholar All-American and an NSCAA Scholar All-East Region First Team selection. Additionally, he has earned MAAC All-Academic and Honor Roll honors.

Character

Last summer Opalka was chosen by the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as its male nominee for the 2010-11 NCAA Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award which honors student-athletes who “have distinguished themselves through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior.” Named a captain as only a sophomore, Opalka has been hailed by many for his exemplary leadership by example both on and off the field. Opalka has demonstrated good sportsmanship on a daily basis by encouraging his teammates and by advocating, translating and taking under his wing other foreign student-athletes both on the soccer team and other athletic teams at Siena. Additionally, he recently came to the aid of a teammate who had to abruptly depart the college to return home to be with his brother who needed to have emergency brain surgery. While out of the country, Opalka called and made sure to pass along all of his teammate’s school assignments while also helping him out with his academics. Opalka met on his own accord with his teammate’s professors and athletic department administrators to make sure his teammate had everything he needed both to complete the semester academically and receive the assistance he needed. Back in Germany, Opalka went out of his way traveling across the country to deliver his teammate all of his paperwork and belongings.

Community

Opalka is an active member and has taken the lead with many of Siena Athletics’ “Saints in the Community” department initiatives. Along with his teammates, Opalka and the Siena soccer team made a significant contribution in helping the Siena Athletic Department win the 2011-12 MAAC Pepsi Refresh Goodworks Challenge for performing the most community service of any of the 10 MAAC schools. Opalka has made several visits to the Albany Shooting Stars Program, spending meaningful time with disabled youth playing sports with them and also volunteered his team at multiple local youth soccer clinics including a clinic hosted locally by soccer superstar Abby Wambach.

Competition

Last season as a junior Opalka was named an NSCAA All-North Atlantic Third Team selection and Second Team All-MAAC honoree. The anchor of the Saints’ center backfield Opalka appeared in and started 17 games while dishing out two assists last fall. Under Opalka’s guidance, the Saints tied a program single-season record by allowing just 16 total goals and ranked 34th nationally with a 0.89 goals against average.