October 29, 2013
A Great Example: Allie Ariniello
Allie Ariniello knows what she is and what she wants to be. She
is a member of the UC Santa Barbara women’s soccer team and
she wants to become a medical doctor.
Allie is not only a student and NCAA Division I soccer player
but she also aspires to one day add an “M.D.” to her
nameplate. In fact, when she is not at school or soccer, she is at
To get a leg-up in her pursuit of a medical career, Allie, a cell
development biology major, has spent time interning at various
hospitals in the area. She has spent the majority of her time at
the St. John’s Regional Hospital in Oxnard, Calif., a short
drive south from Santa Barbara. At the hospital, she enrolled in a
program that allowed her to cycle through different medical units
every three or four months.
“You graduate from medical services to a rehab unit to
the ER to labor and delivery to the surgical unit,” Allie
The labor and delivery department was a particular
“The labor and delivery department is such a happy
unit,” she said. “You get to see another life happen
right before your eyes. Also, everyone works as a
Over a two-year period, Allie has consistently made the drive
to Oxnard for an eight-hour shift, having to plan around a busy
school and soccer schedule. Even during the season, she has
continued to work and volunteer her time to the program. While she
has had to manage her time carefully, creating to-do lists and then
following through, she loves “the stressful life” and,
in fact, she is more successful in-season because she is busier and
simply works harder to stay on top of her hectic schedule.
“We never know exactly what Allie is doing, where she is
or how she can manage to do all the things she does,” said
teammate and roommate Miranda Cornejo.
Allie first became interested in becoming a doctor in high
school. She has always loved science, especially anatomy. She is
fascinated with learning about the biological processes occurring
in our bodies. To her, it has always made sense and has been
“It’s a lot of work but it is cool to know what is
going on in my body,” she said.”
The Carlsbad, Calif. native wants to use her love for learning
to benefit others and genuinely wants to help people, just like her
main inspiration for becoming a doctor, her older sister Lauren.
Allie said that her sister is constantly giving her advice like
‘get to know your teachers’ and ‘get experience
to boost your resume.’”
Lauren went to UCLA and is also an aspiring doctor. She is
currently doing research in a genomics lab in San Diego where Allie
interned last summer while her sister was away in Thailand.
While she has always wanted to be a doctor, Allie has yet to
choose a specific field. What she does know is that she wants to
have her own practice, have good relations with her patients and
make a difference in their lives. She will graduate from UCSB in
June and then start the process of applying for medical
“That application process takes a year to finish,”
she said. “I want to do research or have a job in biology or
the medical industry during that time. I want to have more
experience out in the field before I go back to
Allie has already taken the MCAT, scoring high enough to be
considered at many medical schools.
In her fourth year as a soccer player at UCSB, Allie has
enjoyed her greatest on-field success. She entered 2013 without a
goal to her credit, but this year she is tied for the team-lead
with five, along with three assists for a team-leading 13 points.
She has also started every game.
“Allie is going to be very successful in life because of
her willingness to give everything she has to the things she is
most interested in; like academics, like friendships, like
soccer,” said Gaucho head coach Paul Stumpf. “I
didn’t know that she could give more than she had in the past
but this year has been exceptional. Her work rate and work ethic in
training and in games … she has almost run more miles than
everyone else on the field. She has been the biggest and most
pleasant surprise this year. Allie has been a big part of our wins
this season. This has been by far her best year.”
She first came to UCSB in the summer of 2006 for a soccer
camp, and fell completely in love with the school. As a beach-lover
and science enthusiast and with medical school on her mind, Allie
saw UCSB as the perfect place for her. Being from Southern
California, the weather didn’t hurt either, and yet while she
is close to home, she is far enough away to enjoy the college
Allie has a very close relationship with everyone in her
“My parents are definitely very supportive but they
never force me to do anything,” she said. “They are
proud of my success and what I’ve accomplished but they have
never pushed me to get good grades or play college soccer. They
just love me for me."
Another love of Allie’s life is her dog, so when she is
not scoring goals at Harder Stadium or trying to maintain something
close to a 4.0 grade point average at UCSB, what might she be found
doing? Talking to her dog on Skype.
“One thing we do know,” said another teammate and
roommate Taylor Gehring, “is that any time you see her she
will always have a smile on her face and she’ll never
complain. You would never know that she had just been studying at
the library for six hours after she had multiple classes, a
two-hour practice and who knows what else.”
Allie has been exactly what the doctor ordered for a squad
that has been vastly improved in 2013. With the same motivation and
work ethic that has propelled her to success as a Gaucho, we should
be seeing her in a white coat of her own in no time.