Aug. 29, 2009
The Indianapolis Star
By Michael Pointer
Published: August 29, 2009
Beth Reed isn't sure if anything totally prepares a student for the demands of the U.S. Naval Academy.
But the busy schedule she kept while attending Bishop Chatard High School probably was as good as anything, she said.
"I was going 100 mph at Chatard," said Reed, a senior member of Navy's women's soccer and basketball teams. "It's kind of the same way here. I get up early. I go to bed late. I was doing so much in high school, it wasn't a big transition."
But it has been a successful one.
Reed is the starting goalkeeper, and her teammates voted her the lone captain. She was a reserve guard in basketball last season.
"You cannot watch her play and not have athleticism pop out at you," Navy soccer coach Carin Gabarra said. "The major things we look for (are) athleticism and work ethic. She definitely does have that."
Reed is also ranked second out of 1,032 students in her class. She's sixth in military performance and 12th in academic order of merit, which are used to determine the total class ranking.
"The soccer coaches are, I don't want to say flexible, but they really stress academics," said Reed, who is studying mechanical engineering and has a 3.97 GPA. "It's not just me. It's our entire team. It's nice to have that support system."
Reed was The Indianapolis Star's City Female Athlete of the Year in 2006, when she graduated from Chatard after earning 11 varsity letters -- four in soccer, four in basketball and three in softball.
She visited Connecticut, Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania but had strong feelings for the Naval Academy, even though none of her immediate family members has a military background.
"I looked at other good engineering schools and places to play basketball or soccer," she said. "But the chance to serve was what really drew me to Navy."
Reed has attended the Army-Navy football game three times. (Her favorite part is when the president walks from one side of the field to the other at halftime to sit with each branch of the service.) She worked as an intern in Sen. Richard Lugar's Washington office this summer.
"He was just a great guy," Reed said of Indiana's senior senator and a former Naval officer.
On the soccer field, Navy started 2-0 and was the preseason pick by the Patriot League's coaches and sports information directors to win the conference title, which would earn it a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Reed will begin her mandatory five-year service obligation when she graduates next spring. She said she is requesting to be part of an explosive ordnance disposal unit, which is in charge of detonating and removing explosive material left by enemy combatants. Such an assignment may send her to Afghanistan and the war there.
"That's the community I want to be a part of," she said.
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## GO NAVY! ##