A top scorer and a team player is a rare combination, but the Red has found one in forward Maneesha Chitanvis. Although the junior leads Cornell in points this season — including a team-best five goals to tie her point total from last year — Chitanvis stays modest and continually shifts the focus back to her team.
“I might be the leading scorer, but there’s a fair distribution of goals between all the forwards. It’s not just one person scoring all the goals,” she explained
The Los Alamos, N.M. native has been playing soccer for 15 years, so she is well accustomed to the up-and-downs of the game. Last year she earned honorable mention All-Ivy League awards. Chitanvis said that the level of the honors depends on the team’s record — any special individual recognition is just a bonus for her, but it is all about the team.
“My goal is for us to finish out the season and play well. If I get recognized for it, that’s great,” she said.
A Biology and Society major with minors in Nutrition and Global Health, Chitanvis is thinking of a career in public health service. For part of her Global Health minor, she traveled to India this summer to work in a health clinic.
“I got to see the other side of health care systems,” she said.
One thing Chitanvis did not have much time to do while overseas was play a lot of soccer.
“I was kind of nervous coming back and not having played the entire summer,” she said.
Head coach Danielle LaRoche emphasized how much of a team player Chitanvis is, as well.
“She works really hard to get herself in position to score goals and she also works really hard to set people up for a goal,” she said. “She loves her teammates and every time she scores a goal, it’s for them.”