Corey Goelz joined Eastside as part of Tom Bialek’s ’95 Red team when she was eleven years old, playing her entire youth career for EFC. She then played four years of collegiate soccer while earning degrees in public policy analysis and economics from Pomona College. Today, Corey works at the University of Washington teaching a class to student-athletes to help them through the transition out of college and sports into professional life. In addition, she works with K-5 special education and as a GK coach for Mercer Island HS and EFC. As you listen to Corey’s story, it’s clear that her commitment to purpose-driven work as an athlete laid the foundation for success on and off the field.
Reflecting on her time at Eastside, Corey said “There’s something special about working hard with a team toward a shared goal. I got to experience so many wins and losses with my team during my Eastside career and although you won’t win every game you want to, I remember feeling after championships or big wins that hard work really does pay off. And there’s nothing better than sharing that celebratory feeling with a team that has collectively worked so hard for each other.”
Under Tom Bialek’s leadership, Corey and her team won four State Championships. She loved the relationships and chemistry her teams built through the years, experiencing highs and lows together. She still remembers winning her first State Championship at age 13, “the way it felt to have the ref blow that final whistle and run out to celebrate with my teammates. It was a 2-0 win against Crossfire, and it felt like the culmination of years of hard work.”
A four-year varsity starter at Mercer Island HS, Corey led the team as captain her final two years. Along the way, she earned All-State first team and KingCo 3A co-MVP honors. Also excelling in the classroom, Corey was selected as valedictorian and recipient of the US Army Reserves scholar-athlete award.
Corey shared that her transition to college soccer was smooth since the mentorship of Tom Bialek and Tom Bunnell as well as her development at Eastside prepared her to compete with players from any club in the nation. “My experiences with my Eastside team were fantastic for my development into a team player ready for college soccer and life beyond the game.”
Corey’s commitment to academic rigor opened the door for a world-class education from Pomona College while playing soccer. "I loved being on a team with people who care about soccer and care so much about other interests and passions." Corey shared. Corey worked hard to find the school and program that was the best fit for her many interests. As Corey said, “playing Division III soccer at a liberal arts school was the absolute best choice I could have made. I got a great education, had a balance between athletics, academics, and social life, and even got to study abroad. I also earned playing time my freshman year which is much less common at a Division I school.” Her collegiate career culminated in a run to the NCAA Elite 8, which had never been achieved at Pomona before!
Corey’s enthusiasm to contribute to a team and her purpose-driven approach still infuses her work today. Working with student-athletes transitioning from college into the real world is “a huge passion of mine and I look forward to finding ways to expand this programming and serve even more athletes as they navigate what can be a scary and challenging transition.” Corey’s firsthand experience is proving to benefit many young student-athletes following in her footsteps. On the field coaching goalkeepers at EFC and MI HS, Corey continues to engage with her passion for the game. Not only is she giving back to the organizations that helped fuel her success, but she also feels energized by the young athletes and grateful to do work she loves.
When asked what advice she would give current Eastside players, Corey says, “you need to be your own biggest advocate. It can feel hard to do this but like anything else it takes practice. Determine your own goals and what makes you most happy and fulfilled. It can be challenging but try to determine what you want and not rely on what others want for you.” It’s exciting to imagine this wisdom and the amazing path in life that Corey has crafted coming from a little 11-year-old putting her Eastside jersey on for the first time so many years ago! We are proud of Corey’s achievements, but ever-more-so of the “Champions in Life” attitude she models in everything she does today.