Written by Lauren Murray, Sky Blue FC Contributing Writer
At the helm of Sky Blue FC’s home games, Rutgers University has become a staple in the team’s success. Since the team’s inaugural season in 2009, every Sky Blue FC player has been acquainted with Yurcak Field, while others are also introduced to the university’s academic buildings.
Daphne Corboz will be the next addition to the team’s current roster of Rutgers alumnae, as she will begin her journey towards her doctorate at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in the fall of 2018. She will be joining Erica Skroski and Madison Tiernan, who both graduated from RU with their bachelor’s degrees in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Corboz began her college career at Georgetown University in 2011 where she majored in biology and followed the pre-med track. During her four years as a Hoya, Corboz registered 47 goals, 41 assists and 134 points in 82 appearances. She holds a couple of records as a Hoya, including most career goals, most points in a single-season and most assists in a single-season. She was a three-time NSCAA All-American and was a semifinalist for the MAC (Missouri Athletic Club) Hermann Trophy in 2014.
Following her senior season at Georgetown, Corboz declared herself eligible for the 2015 NWSL College Draft. She was ultimately drafted by Sky Blue FC in the third round as the 22nd overall pick. Meanwhile, she was already accepted into Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University.
However, instead of signing, she put her career with Sky Blue FC on hold. Corboz also asked for a deferral from RU, and she said she was fortunate enough to have been granted one.
She went ahead and seized the opportunity to play in Europe and signed with Manchester City of the FA Women’s Super League.
“I had this opportunity come up with Manchester City, and I decided to go with it because I felt it was going to challenge me in so many different ways, both on and off the field,” she said. “I think that learning from a new style of play with new teammates and a new coaching style was really going to push my game to the next level.”
With Manchester City, Corboz was a part of the squad that won its first FA Women’s Super League title in 2016, which was her second year in England. In her first season, Manchester City lost in the finals to Chelsea L.F.C.
She also found a way to utilize her two-year deferral from RU by attending Manchester Metropolitan University to continue her studies. She was enrolled in the part-time master’s degree program in biomedical science. She eventually received an additional year to her deferral since she was still studying biomedical science.
After the conclusion of the 2016 season, Corboz was ready to head back home to New Jersey. A week after the 2017 NWSL College draft, Sky Blue FC signed Corboz as a free agent. She came back to the United States with her master’s degree uncompleted, but she has been accommodated to finish her studies with MMU. This past semester, she took some courses online through MMU. Her last week of classes was in early March, right before Sky Blue FC’s preseason began. She had to fly back to England in May to take her final exams, as the 2017 NWSL season was already underway.
At the end of this year, she will have earned her postgraduate certificate. She is still undecided whether or not to continue with the program next year to complete the master’s degree.
Upon her return, Corboz was excited to finally get a chance to play with the team she has been admiring for years.
“I was a Sky Blue FC fan growing up, so I really wanted to play in the league here and I solely wanted to play for Sky Blue FC,” she said.
As she has been doing since her first year at Georgetown, Corboz has been able to manage soccer on top of her academics very well, and she said it will be nothing new when she starts medical school.
“I was used to it at Georgetown, balancing pre-med and soccer, and then when I started doing my master’s in England, I balanced that,” she said. “It wasn’t too bad. I was a part-time master’s student. Now going into medical school, that will be the full focus I think.”
This balance is deemed a pleasure for Corboz, even though it is uncommon for professional athletes to continue school while in the midst of their professional athletic careers.
“I was fortunate enough to find two passions, and that was football and medicine,” Corboz said. “Fortunately, as a professional footballer, you have a lot of free time, and I was able to take that time to study; and since I am passionate about the subject, then it’s not really hard work.”
When the time comes to begin her studies at RU, Corboz is hoping to continue the manageable balance she has found between playing professionally and school.
“I’m trying not to think about it because obviously I can’t imagine not playing soccer everyday right now,” she said. “But, it will be a decision I have to make, and I just keep procrastinating it.”
About the Author: Lauren Murray is a senior at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, pursuing two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and sport studies. She previously worked as the Assistant Sports Editor of her college’s award-winning newspaper, The Ithacan. As editor, she was awarded First Place for Sports Coverage and Third Place for News Story by the New York Press Association.