Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Dan Bendett ’06 Soccer Standout

Dan Bendett ’06 came to soccer relatively late in his life. “When I was fourteen I moved to Vermont from Los Angeles and became part of a blended family. My mom, my sister and I joined my stepdad and two younger brothers who were avid soccer players,” Bendett explained. “I knew that being part of the family was going to mean playing soccer.”

Growing up mostly playing basketball and baseball, his hand-eye coordination made him a natural for the position of goalkeeper.

“Goalkeeper was the perfect spot for me—I like the pressure. I thrive on it.” Bendett said. “You are the one who can see the entire field. You control the play of the game and organize where the players go—you lead the team out there.”

Bendett’s skill for leading the team made him Captain this year, and last year he was named All SCIAC Goalkeeper, All Western Coast Goalkeeper. He also holds the record for the number of shut-out games at 9 straight.

“Dan is one of the best goalkeepers in the league,” Head Coach Bill Swartz said. “We’re having a hard time scoring goals right now, but he is keeping us from being scored on. It will be very difficult to replace him as a player and as a person.”

Bendett’s experience on the Pomona-Pitzer team and at Pitzer is irreplaceable.

“I have enjoyed every minute of my Pitzer experience. I’ve wanted to go to college since I was three,” Bendett said. “Getting here was everything I could have hoped for: the academics, the soccer, and the friends I’ve made have all been incredible. My team mates are my best friends.”

Along with playing soccer, Bendett was a tutor at a local Claremont elementary school, made bi-weekly conversational visits to San Antonio Gardens, a local retirement community, and volunteered in China the summer before his junior year. In the spring of his junior year he went on Pitzer’s Study Abroad program in Beijing, China.

“The Pitzer program in China was exquisitely run. It really integrated you with the culture. I had a Chinese roommate and played on a club soccer team for Beijing University,” Bendett said. “The first day I was there, I saw a bunch of people playing soccer. I went down and joined in even though I couldn’t speak any Chinese. Soccer really became that universal language.”

Bendett is applying for the Watson and Fulbright Fellowships. A political study major with a sociology minor, his dream is to be a sports reporter for the 2008 Olympics in China.

“While I was in China my independent study focused on how the media is picking up the changes in the country going towards the Olympics. I worked with the first newspaper that had been formed to cover the Olympics in China,” Bendett said.

Bendett will sorely miss being a college student, but his zest for life doesn’t let his energy linger long on the past.

“I will miss the incredible opportunities available here. But as much as I’ve always been excited to get to college, I’m equally excited to get out into the world and explore everything,” Bendett said. “Pitzer has really shown me all the amazing possibilities that exist beyond college. I feel Pitzer has totally prepared me for life out in the world.”

-Catherine Okereke ’00