Hazleton, Pa. - Madison Polumbo from Freeland, Pa. finished up her fourth year of competition in the fall of 2019 as one of the original members of the women's soccer program at Penn State Hazleton. Polumbo battled back from knee surgery early in her career to become one of the top midfielders in the PSUAC. She earned the John Fritz Sportsmanship Award in 2017 and named 1st Team All-Conference in each of her last two seasons as she helped propel Hazleton to back to back PSUAC Championship game appearances. Madison notched double-figure point totals in each of her last three seasons, finishing her career with 18 goals, 13 assists and four game-winning scores.
Polumbo put equal effort into her academics as well. As a member of the soccer team she earned four consecutive awards to the PSUAC Academic All-Conference Team and made Dean's List six times at Hazleton. This semester, Madison is completing her degree in Information Systems and Technology with an internship for Fortune 500 company Air Products Inc. working on the creation of a company wide information integration application. Once complete, Madison has her sights set on a job in the IT field where she can utilize those skills she gained at Penn State Hazleton, eventually eyeing a career as a data analyst.
We caught up with Polumbo earlier in the week to reminisce about her career:
What was your favorite memory while playing soccer at Penn State Hazleton?
Beating Beaver in the semifinals my junior year in the freezing cold rain. We shut out a good team and that win told me that we had arrived as one of the best teams in the conference. Being a part of the group that started the program two years earlier, that meant a lot to me.
What impact did college athletics have your experience as a Penn State Hazleton student?
It was a major benefit to me in terms of managing my time, especially as a freshman. It forced me to make a schedule in the fall and that carried over to my spring semesters which made doing my school work much easier. It would have been harder for me had I not had that structure.
If you could play any other sport, what would it be and why?
I probably would have done track and field and been a runner. I assume that it's pretty physically demanding like soccer and I think I would have been pretty good in that sport.
What are you up to now during the quarantine?
Working from home for Air Products internship. I'm also taking four classes on top of that so completing those online which fills up most of my day. When I do get some time away from that I try to get in a workout and I've been taking some hiking and fishing trips.
What is your favorite class you took while attending Penn State Hazleton?
IST 210 with Barb Brazen. That class introduced me to the kind of material that I eventually decided to pursue a career in.
What teammate of yours is the best to follow on social media?
Probably Bree on Facebook. She's always posting funny videos.
What is your favorite memory outside of athletics at Penn State?
Going to my first THON as a freshman. Finding out what it was all about and the exciting atmosphere of people coming together for a great cause. It's really a great display of the Penn State family, between current students from all the campuses, faculty, staff and alumni.
What role will athletics play in your life going forward?
Soccer helped me build a work ethic and I learned better ways to communicate and work with a team so that's something I'll always take from the game. I wanted to stay involved in the sport so I'm going to look play in rec or club leagues depending on where I end up. I plan on getting back into officiating and would like to try my hand at being a coach someday.
Are there teammates, coaches or family members you would like to thank for having a positive impact on your playing career?
I want to thank my parents for supporting me through college and giving me a foundation to be successful in soccer. I also want to thank Coach Jesse for starting the program and building a team that could be successful three and four years later.