The time has finally come. I did it. After almost four years of lots of hardwork. After visiting twenty-seven different college campuses, writing over one hundred and thirty five emails, and attending nine different ID camps, I have finally decided where I am going to further both my education and athletic career and where I am going to call home for the next four years of my life.
I started playing soccer when I was four years old. I was a little girl without a care in the world, running around the boxed in field, chasing a ball, and having the time of my life. I was fast and I was aggressive. My kindergarten soccer coach gave me the nickname Animal and still to this day, although I’m seventeen years old and it’s been thirteen years since I got the name, my teammates still call me Animal. It’s funny but I ready to move on to bigger and better things and nicknames, but to my Rapids family I will always be known as Animal and that will forever be special to me.
I started my competitive soccer career at what used to be known as North Meck Soccer Club. In 2013, when the club became affiliated with the Colorado Rapids, and we changed our name to the Carolina Rapids as well as our logo and colors it definitely took some time to adjust. Little did I know it was a huge blessing in disguise. In 2015 I was invited to the Colorado Rapids Elite Training Camp in Denver, Colorado. This was the first time I had ever traveled by plane to play soccer which I thought was just so cool. I also roomed with and met other players from other affiliated clubs that I still follow on social media today. It was one of the greatest experiences and one that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.
In 2014 I was invited to my first US Soccer Market Training Center. With this, I had the opportunity to be coached by coaches from US National Soccer youth teams. The experience and knowledge they brought to the sessions was eye-opening. Not only was I coached by professionals, but the best part was playing with so many other talented players by my side. Playing with athletes that had so much skill always helped me to develop and maintain mine. I challenged myself to lean something new at each session I attended.
The Carolina Rapids was lucky to be granted an Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) in 2017. With this addition came even more opportunity. I have traveled with my team all over the country to compete in ECNL showcases. Some of the locations included Virginia, New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, and Washington. With each trip came more growth, more confidence, more experience playing in-front of college coaches, and lots of unforgettable memories.
One of my greatest memories was playing up with the U18 team when I was an age group below them and winning the Disney Showcase Cup. There were so many players I looked up to on that team and having the chance to play with them many times was a great honor. I will never forget the feeling when I walked up on the stage to receive my medal.
Throughout my ten years at the Carolina Rapids I have had some of the most remarkable coaches. They were all always supportive, dedicated, and have all played a role in making me the player I am today. I appreciate all the hard-work and time my coaches put in to creating relationships with me and always encouraging me to keep pushing my limits.
I started playing soccer for my high school in ninth grade. I remember being my shy freshman self not wanting to interact with the upperclassmen much. I was just there to be with my friends and help get the job done on the field. As I continued my high school soccer career I realized I had a great chance to represent my beloved school. I grew to become a significant leader on and off the field. Some of my greatest high school memories come from the soccer field. I won MVP both my sophomore and junior year and also helped lead my team to the State Championship this past year. This experience was unimaginable. I played on a collegiate field with all of my amazing teammates. We had worked our butts off to get where we were and although on paper the score was not rewarding, I know we all gained more than we could know at the moment.
When I started the college recruiting process I had no idea where it would bring me. All I was told was it was gonna take a lot of handwork and dedication to get there. With the recruiting process came doubt and frustration but in the end I finished with more knowledge and gratitude than anything else. If it wasn’t for my parents never ending encouragement I’m not sure I would have made it, so a huge thank you to them.
My advice to anyone starting the college recruitment process is this: You have to be ready to spend weekends sending emails to coaches. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone to make phone calls because they are important. Be prepared to accept rejection and move past it. Keep your mind open to new and unexpected opportunities. Don’t judge a school by what you hear, let yourself be the decider. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself. Be appreciative of any time that a coach gives you because that time is valuable. You never know when someone is watching you so give it your all every single day. And most of all, trust the process. Things will work out if you put the time in and are patient.
I’m excited to further my education and learn more about what I am most passionate about. I’m excited to push myself as an athlete and compete on a collegiate field. I’m excited to see what plans God has for me in college. I’m most excited to be able to call Queens University of Charlotte my new home for my next four years of life. I will never be able to say thank you enough to everyone who has taken part in getting me here. I appreciate each and everyone of you more than you can imagine. I have always dreamed of playing soccer in college so thank you and thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
Also you’re welcome for the time capsule…