Published: January 18, 2021
A senior defender for the Vanderbilt soccer team, Konte was part of the Commodores’ SEC Tournament in November and, Wednesday, became the first Vandy student-athlete to be selected in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft when the North Carolina Courage selected Konte with the 30th overall pick.
“I was completely shocked,” Konte said about last week’s life-altering moment. “I didn’t know what to expect. I knew there was a possibility that my name could be called, but I just wasn’t expecting it to be called still. Super grateful.”
The 2020 SEC Tournament MVP, Konte started 10 of Vandy’s 12 matches during the fall. She scored twice and had an assist during an SEC tourney win over rival Tennessee.
Lifting a trophy Nov. 22 in Orange Beach, Alabama, followed by an opportunity to play professionally seems like the perfect way to end a career.
But Konte isn’t done yet.
The Commodores will resume the 2020-21 season this spring before the pursuit of a national championship starts in April in the NCAA Tournament. Konte will be part of those pursuits while she finishes her undergraduate degree in Medicine, Health and Society.
In the fall she’ll return for one more go-round with Vanderbilt soccer as a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in Medicine, Health and Society.
“I just felt like I had a lot more work to do at Vanderbilt, to continue to get my master’s degree and continue to work hard on the field and really develop as a soccer player,” Konte said. “This put me in the best position to be prepared for my start at NC Courage and to be able to still achieve what I want to as a student-athlete.”
Konte came to West End via Woodbridge, Virginia, was voted Vanderbilt Athletics’ Female Newcomer of the Year and was named to the SEC All-Freshman and SEC All-Tournament teams after her freshman season. She’s played in 59 games for Vanderbilt over the years and has become a model of consistency and hard-work – even after tearing an ACL as a junior in 2019.
Konte was quick to credit her teammates and the Vanderbilt coaching staff for being at her side every step of what has been a remarkable journey. But that journey hasn’t had a final chapter written just yet.
“All of our hard work in overcoming everything that we did this past season, it all made it worth it once we won the SEC championship. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a season,” Konte said. “We left off on a really high note and I feel like we have a lot more to prove this spring season.
“I can’t wait to get back on the field with the team and show what we got.”
— Chad Bishop covers Vanderbilt for VUCommodores.com.
Follow him @MrChadBishop.