The 2017 season for the Spalding University Golden Eagles men’s soccer team recently wrapped up with an overall 7-10-0 record, including a 4-5-0 record and sixth place in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Defender Finn Kola and midfielder Sergio Olvera-Vancini — both starters on the team — have garnered a few accolades this season, including SLIAC All-Conference and SLIAC Player of the Week.

Why did they choose Spalding to continue their soccer careers? For Kola and Olvera-Vancini, the university in Downtown Louisville was the right fit for their individual needs.

“I had been going to different [soccer] camps while I was in high school,” said Kola, who is a sophomore at Spalding. “I met Coach [Adam] Boyer, the head coach of Spalding, at an Indiana University men’s soccer camp. From there, I started the recruiting process with the head coach, came for a visit [to Spalding], and found the school and program was the right fit for me.”

“I had just gotten done with final season about two months ago,” added Olvera-Vancini, who is a senior at the university. “I chose Spalding because Coach Boyer contacted me after a soccer showcase. I came on a visit and met a bunch of cool people. I heard about the session breaks, and how different the school was.”

Kola and Olvera-Vancini are also enrolled in Spalding University’s School of Business, which offers the two players the flexibility to succeed on and off the pitch.

“One of the ways that Spalding’s able to provide flexibility to its student athletes is their great scheduling,” said Kola. “One of the things I most enjoy here at Spalding is the class schedules. We go by six-week sessions, so, during the season, an option for me as a player and a student is to be able to take one or two courses at the time during the season. This allows me to not only focus on my studies and really concentrate on those classes I’m taking, but also to spend a great deal of my time on the soccer season during the fall. I’m able to get a great balance between academics and athletics with Spalding’s class schedules in that regard.”

“It wasn’t lenient,” Olvera-Vancini added, “but [Spalding] would be flexible with the schedule, and with your athletics and academics. You had to email your teacher, and just let them know you were going to be at a game or at a practice. If it wouldn’t work, then obviously, you would have had to stay in class. But for the most part, they would allow you to go to the games. Again, the sessions made it easy because only taking two classes a session meant you got a lot of free time not only to do homework, but to focus on athletics at the same time.”

Will you see either Kola and Olvera-Vancini become one of Louisville City FC’s “Boys in Purple” in the future? For Olvera-Vancini, he sees his future off the pitch, with plans to work for his uncle in Indianapolis upon graduation. Kola, meanwhile, will be helping rebuild the Golden Eagles, as five seniors — including Olvera-Vancini — are set to graduate. Off the pitch, however, is at least one path for the starting defender to choose:

“One of the options that I have is possibly becoming a personal trainer. My brother is actually a personal trainer in Cincinnati; that’s always been something I’ve been intrigued by, so that’s definitely an option. Whether I stay in Louisville, move to Cincinnati, wherever the best route is for me… There’s a lot of time until then, but that’s one of my options at the moment.”

“Me being at a smaller school like Spalding helped me grow socially,” said Olvera-Vancini. “At a bigger school, not a lot of people talk to each other. But here, I was a part of something, and I was able to build relationships off of that.”

Looking for the flexibility to succeed in scoring your education and career goals, on or off the pitch? Spalding University’s School of Business is your team captain, ready to come through for you with an assist in the match of life. Head online to for more information on Spalding’s business program.