Costello brings energetic personality to team

Junior Midfielder Eleanor Costello takes control of the ball as she drives down the field. Costello and the women’s soccer team had a magnificent second half to come back and beat UAH 6-1 Sept 17.

The UNA soccer team is off to a hot start, sitting at 4-0-1 on the season. The Lions are coming off a conference win over rival Alabama-Huntsville Sept. 17.

The early success for the Lions can be credited to on-the-field leadership. Junior midfielder Eleanor Costello brings leadership with her play but further lifts the team with her personality.

“She’s definitely the team comedian, for sure,” said head coach Chris Walker. “Personality-wise she’s fantastic. She gets along with absolutely every one. She’ll make fun of you, and you can make fun of her. She brings that personality to the table.”

Costello, a junior from Stafford, England, has a sense of humor and is not afraid to laugh at herself every once in a while.

“When (the team) went to Florida, I forgot my practice kit,” she said. “I could’ve gotten into some trouble for that but they let me off.”

Junior defender Susan Lang, Costello’s teammate and roommate, can testify to Costello’s occasional absentmindedness.

“I live with Ele, and I have been with her almost every day for three years,” she said. “Without a doubt, she is the most forgetful person I know. She would honestly forget her head if it wasn’t screwed on. But she’s great to live with and is one of the most approachable players on our team. She is a great friend.”

The one thing Costello cannot forget, however, is her skills on the pitch. Costello, who first started competing when she was nine, played for Stoke City Ladies FC for eight years. She made a mark across the pond as a top goal scorer with Stafford College and England College’s under-19 team.

“When I went to (Stafford College), I was 16, and they put me forward for the England College trials, which is like the national team,” Costello said. “There were five different trials you had to go through, and I ended up making the squad, representing England for two seasons. That was quite a big achievement.”

Costello’s success back home gained her some attention in America, where she eventually became a part of Walker’s first group of recruits at UNA.

Costello said leaving England and coming to America was a big transition for her, but the move improved her confidence on and off the pitch.

“I think coming to America and to UNA has helped my confidence a lot, because I wasn’t very confident in myself before I came here,” she said. “It was tough moving abroad to America away from my family, but UNA has helped me settle in.”

When Costello feels good about herself, it shows in her performance on the field, Walker said.

“She can be one of the best players that we’ve got. It just lies on how confident she is,” he said. “I think this year she’s really hit the ground running. Through these first five games she’s played great, and I think when she’s confident she’s one of the best in the conference, by far.”

Off the field, Costello enjoys her free time keeping up with music and exploring nature with her friends and teammates.

“I’m quite into music,” she said. “When I go back home, I try to go to music events. The music is different here, so I’m trying to keep up with music in England and listen to music here.

“I also like to go to the river with the girls some days. We’ll just go for walks because it’s got that forest area, and we’ll just go on adventures.”

Costello’s next adventure on the field will be Sept. 27 at home against Cumberland in a non-conference matchup.