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Julia Glaser competing against UC Riverside on Sept. 16, 2017 at the Soccer & Lacrosse Stadium. Glaser scored a goal in overtime to win the game. Fresno State won 1-0. (Fresno State Athletics)

Adapting on and off the pitch: Julia Glaser

Sophomore forward Julia Glaser has always chased her dreams, whether it was representing Switzerland as a youth international and leading the team in goals or moving to California to further her soccer career.

“It was always my dream to go to America after high school and play soccer,” Glaser said. “I didn’t know much about Fresno State before, but my plan was to come to California. I really liked the coaching staff and their philosophy of playing soccer, so I ended up at Fresno [State], and I’m really happy about that.”

Although Glaser, from Lorrach, Germany, experienced culture shock when she first arrived, her teammates made the transition painless.

“They were super nice from the first day,” Glaser said. “They made it easy. I just really love this team because we are one team, a family.”

Glaser’s exploits on the pitch are well-known. In her freshman year in 2016, she became the first freshman Bulldog in 14 years to score in three straight games. She finished her first season with a total of six goals.

“She has a really impressive background from an International standpoint,” head coach Brian Zwaschka said. “She’s brought a lot of composure and a skill set that is very unique for us so we’re thrilled to have her.”

Things were different at first for Glaser – from everyday life to playing on the pitch.

“I think back home, it’s different,” Glaser said. “Everything is smaller, and I spent most of my time outdoors. Soccer is different, also. Here it’s more dynamic, and there is a lot of pace. Back home, there is more passing and things are more technical.”

Teammate Tori Nicolo said the team understood Glaser was getting used to her new environment.

“Sometimes maybe during practice in our freshman year, she wouldn’t really get a concept,” Nicolo said. “We had to understand she’s not totally acclimated to our culture, but she’s blended in fine. It’s her sophomore year, and you can tell she’s much more comfortable.”

After a strong freshman campaign, Glaser aims to build on her foundation and catapult the ‘Dogs into postseason play.