Coming to the States to Play Soccer Became So Much More.
Anton Johansson heard about Cazenovia College when Coach Ed Goodhines, senior associate director of athletics, contacted him about playing Division III soccer. Johansson had worked with a consulting firm that circulates videos of high school students playing sports, and Goodhines recruited him to play goalie for the team.
Johansson and his family travelled from Sweden to the U.S. to visit some of the schools that had reached out to him. Cazenovia was the first school he visited. He shares, "I might have been biased with my first American college experience, but I really liked the people and the environment." Later Johansson learned that he had received the Dean's Leadership Award for four years. This fact confirmed his decision to attend Cazenovia College.
The small, intimate setting of Cazenovia College appealed to Johansson. He found it an easy place to make friends—especially being a member of the soccer team. Johansson says, "With a small school wherever you go there are twenty people you know … and you look out for each other."
Another feature of Cazenovia is the low student/teacher ratio. Having the opportunity to build relationships with members of the faculty has been key to Johansson's success. "My first semester was really challenging because of where I was with English fluency. During a lecture, I would still be translating the first slide in my head while the rest of the class was on the third," he shares.
Nevertheless Johansson persevered and started to make some great connections including Professor Tim Williams, who at the time served as the program director of the Sport Management program, and Dr. Joni Koegel " … who I would always talk to when I stood outside her door." In addition, Dr. Tracy Trachsler has taught him some of the classes key to the sport management major including Organization and Administration of Sport. Johansson's favorite professor, however, is Dr. John Livermore who taught him the statistics course SPSS.
Outside the classroom, Johansson has enjoyed his involvement in athletics. Initially soccer was his focus, but after one season, Johansson found himself growing apart from the program. He shares, "I just found myself spending more and more time with the lacrosse players and then started playing box lacrosse." Lacrosse has turned into a passion with Johansson playing the position of long-stick middie, one of the more challenging positions on the field.
A natural athlete, Johansson quickly became a competitive player. So quickly that he qualified for the Swedish National Team for the 2018 World Lacrosse Championship held in Netanya, Israel, July 12-21. Forty-six teams participated with Sweden ranking 25th. Of his experience playing lacrosse in Israel, Johansson says, "Cazenovia has helped me see parts of the world I've never seen."
Similar to lacrosse, Johansson took up riding while at the College and joined the equestrian team his junior year. Beginning with Hunter Seat with walk, trot, equitation he segued to Western. Shares Johansson, "I am really happy that I had the opportunity to learn how to ride at Cazenovia. I was very hesitant at first, but it is really an awesome experience and it will give me a skill set that I will have for the rest of my life."
As a senior, Johansson is thinking through next steps after graduation and while he is undecided on whether he will return to Sweden or stay in the U.S., he does know that he wants to pursue a master's in business analytics. Johansson calls it applied number crunching, and would like to use the knowledge to make data-driven decisions about the sports teams he hopes to oversee as a future athletic director.
Johansson's enthusiasm for trying new things has been key to his Caz experience. "Do what you want," he shares, "because you will learn a lot and have a great time."