« Men’s Soccer 2009

Toni Stahl

School

University of Connecticut

Position
Midfielder
Major
Psychology
G
0
A
1
PTS
1

Classroom

Throughout Stahl’s undergraduate career he has always been a very active and engaged learner.  As a member of the soccer program, Stahl and his teammates often have the opportunity to utilize a number of resources dedicated to promoting both athletic and academic success, and his interest and intrigue in psychology grew after meeting with a sports psychologist. Sports psychology is a quickly growing field that will allow Stahl the opportunity to combine his passion with an academic curriculum that will lead him into a profession that might allow him to have a positive impact on young athletes as they strive for success on and off the pitch. Stahl will be completing his degree requirements in December 2009. Typically a four-year program, Stahl is completing his degree in only three and a half years.

Character

A native of Tuusula, Finland, Stahl has made great strides acclimating to the university environment and adjusting to life in America.  Stahl has had to adjust to learning in a new language and has found great success in the classroom, being an example to his younger teammates who represent a very diverse squad. He captained the 2008-09 Huskies on the field, leading the team to an appearance in the third round of the 2008 NCAA Men’s College Cup. His work ethic, loyalty and dedication to the team are what make him an outstanding leader and representative of the university. Off the field, Stahl is a member of the Leadership Council, a group founded by UConn head coach Ray Reid to promote team unity and community involvement.  As a member of the Leadership Council, Stahl and his teammates did their part to give back to the community in positive and meaningful ways.

Community

Traditionally a nationally ranked program with one of the top attendance records, the UConn men’s soccer team has an obligation to give back to its community to thank them for all the support they are shown throughout their season.  As a captain of the 2008-09 squad, Stahl felt intrinsically responsible for making sure that both the university community and the surrounding towns realize how much their support contributed to the overall success of the program.  Being both a captain and a member of the team’s Leadership Council, Stahl, the council and other captains took the initiative to make sure the fans felt appreciated. Before and after games, the players took time to meet with the media, shake people’s hands and sign autographs when asked. As part of the Leadership Council, Stahl and UConn Husky men’s soccer program organized a drive to collect new and used soccer ball to donate to Kick for Nick, an organization founded in memory of Nick Mardaras, a Connecticut native who gave his life in Iraq. Mardaras’ dream was to bring soccer balls to the children of Iraq, replacing the tin cans and rocks they were used to playing with. Kick for Nick has donated more than 10,000 soccer balls to Iraqi children since its inception.  This is only one example of the numerous community events sponsored by the program and the Leadership Council, which also spends countless hours in the community teaching soccer skills and techniques to local club programs, youth organizations and other groups.

Competition

Stahl has been a dominant presence for the Huskies at midfield and has been a game-changer for the Huskies since his start at UConn. A two-time All-BIG EAST first team selection, Stahl continues to lead the Huskies throughout the BIG EAST Conference. As a junior in 2008, Stahl was an unanimous pick for the All-BIG EAST first team after tallying four points on one goal and two assists. As a result to his talented play, Stahl was named to the 2009 College Soccer News Preseason All-American second team. He currently has two goals and six assists for 10 points in three seasons at UConn.