April Bockin is ‘witty,’ ‘sarcastic’ and Minnesota’s top passer

The junior forward has nine assists this season, leading the team.

Gophers forward April Bockin fights for the ball against Purdue at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, Sept. 25, 2015.

Alex Tuthill-Preus, Daily File Photo

Gophers forward April Bockin fights for the ball against Purdue at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium, Sept. 25, 2015.

by Erik Nelson

Forward April Bockin said she isn’t sure what motivated her to become a soccer player. But from a young age, ever since her older brother started playing, she has been around the game.

“My parents put me [on a team] when I was four. I loved it, and I’ve played ever since,” Bockin said.

Bockin has nine assists so far for Minnesota, the most on the team. She has scored in four consecutive games. On Sept. 24 against Michigan State, Bockin scored her first goal of the season and assisted on four of Minnesota’s seven goals.

Besides being a key offensive player for the Gophers, head coach Stefanie Golan said Bockin does well academically and is a fun person to be around.

“She’s super intelligent,” Golan said. “She’s a bright [person] who strives to excel at everything that she does. She’s soft-spoken, but extremely witty at the same time. She’s awkward in a great way. Everybody loves her.”

When Bockin attended Eden Prairie High School, she was named an AP Scholar and graduated with honors. Bockin plans to major in kinesiology. She said she has always been interested in sports and the physical movements athletes perform to achieve their goals and how athletes can improve.

“I was probably a sophomore in high school when I learned about kinesiology and the field,” she said. “I thought it was super interesting. I’ve stuck with it.”

To study the game, Bockin’s soccer role models are the forwards of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

“[The USWNT forwards] have always been the top players in the world,” Bockin said. “It’s fun to watch them play, move off the ball and score unreal goals.”

Forward Julianna Gernes said Bockin can be sarcastic in a fun-loving way. She isn’t surprised when Bockin scores a big goal or makes a great pass.

“I know she’s capable of [providing offense],” Gernes said. “We have so much fun celebrating [goals] together.”

Similar to Gernes, the head coach said Bockin’s leadership role has grown since her freshman year. The coach said Bockin used to do her own thing her first year with Minnesota. Now, Golan thinks Bockin is unselfish and wants more responsibility as a leader for Minnesota.

“She’s grown physically. She’s grown mentally stronger as well,” Golan said. “She’s one of the more durable players that we have at this point.”

Gernes said Bockin can be quiet, but has developed into a leader since Bockin joined Minnesota’s roster in 2015. 

“She stands out at this level,” Gernes said. “She came out of her shell more.”