Gophers add goal scorer April Bockin

Freshman forward April Bockin poses at the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul on July 28, 2015.

Freshman forward April Bockin poses at the Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in St. Paul on July 28, 2015.

Emily Polglaze

Both April Bockin’s mother and high school coach describe her as shy and reserved, but that’s hard to believe when she steps onto the field. 
 
The incoming freshman forward had 25 goals and 13 assists for the Eden Prairie high school her senior season, letting everyone on the pitch know who she was.
 
“I love to score goals,” Bockin said. “So whenever I get an opportunity, I always look to go to goal.” 
 
Bockin led her team in goals and points during her junior and senior seasons. With her help, Eden Prairie earned a top four finish at the 2013 state tournament and a second place finish at the same tournament a year later.
 
Despite her great high school success, Bockin did face some challenges.
 
Bockin’s mother, Sarah, said an ankle injury could have potentially sidelined her big senior year, but April bounced back in a big way. 
 
“We weren’t sure how well she’d be able to play,” Sarah Bockin said. “But it turned out to be a great year for her.” 
 
April Bockin was awarded the 2014 Minnesota State High School Soccer Association’s Ms. Soccer Award. 
 
“We were absolutely thrilled for her,” Sarah Bockin said. “I’m not sure that she ever thought that it was within her grasp, but it was a thrill when it came to be.”
 
Naturally, April Bockin’s ability made her a highly sought-after prospective college player. 
 
“I know that over the years pretty much any coach from any college that saw her play wanted her,” former high school and club coach Noel Quinn said. 
 
April Bockin said her choices eventually came down to Wisconsin and Minnesota. 
 
“I always knew I wanted to play for a big Midwest school,” April Bockin said. “The coaches are awesome, and when I met the team, I felt like I would fit in really well. And I think it’s pretty cool to be able to represent your home state at the college level.”
 
Minnesota head coach Stefanie Golan made it clear at a Chalk Talk event in Park Rapids on May 28 the Gophers were happy to get April Bockin. The forward will help boost an attack that finished sixth in the Big Ten last season in goals per game.
 
“When you find a pure goal scorer [like April Bockin], it’s like gold,” Golan said at the event.
 
Sarah Bockin said even as a younger player, her daughter always had good vision on the field, making it easy for her to score goals and move quickly. 
 
It’s a skill April Bockin now hopes to bring to the collegiate level.
 
“I think my speed combined with my attacking mentality will help the team the most,” April Bockin said. “I hope to be a goal scorer. As a forward, that’s our main job on the field.”  
 
Being a freshman, April Bockin knows her playing time could be slim but still hopes to fill a role.
 
“I know I’m going to make mistakes in the next level,” April Bockin said. “But I need to stay confident in myself and not let my mistakes affect my play.”
 
April Bockin’s quiet confidence and ability to learn by example will suit her well in her college years.
 
“She knows she has a lot to learn from her new teammates and coaches,” Sarah Bockin said. “Hopefully, she’ll develop into a key contributor for the team. She’s definitely up for the challenge.”