Senior women soccer players look back on experiences

By Nick Cardoso|

When playing with a group of people for so long, there is a time when a sports teams stops being a team and becomes a family. Senior women’s soccer midfielders Erin Buning and Caleigh Hodgkins both agree.

Hodgkins has played on the women’s soccer team since she was a freshman but said that she was familiar with the team even before she began attending Flagler.

“I am from St. Augustine and have been attending the team’s home games since the 7th grade,” Hodgkins said. “So I sort up grew up with Flagler soccer, and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Hodgkins said she was excited to join Flagler’s soccer program after graduating from high school.

“My expectations were for it to be a fun, challenging four years during which I would hopefully develop some life-long friendships,” she said.

According to the Flagler College athletics website, Hodgkins finished her 2010 season having played in all 17 matches and starting in 16. She ended with one goal on 14 shots for the season.

“Parting with the Flagler soccer program is bittersweet for me,” Hodgkins said. “But, I know now that it is time to start a new chapter of my life. Being a part of the program has helped shape me into the person that I am today, and I am forever grateful for the times I have had here.”

Buning said she joined Flagler as a sophomore transfer from Truman State University and knew right away that she had made the right decision to change schools.

“Since I was a transfer student, and I had played at my previous college, I had a pretty good idea of what was going to be expected of me on the Flagler soccer team,” Buning said. “I knew that playing at Flagler was going to be a lot of hard work and a big commitment, but I also knew that it was going to be worth it.”

Buning said that there was never a moment in her career at Flagler where she did not want to go to practice or continue playing soccer.

“The obvious goal of playing in college is to play at the next level, and for the competition, but that is not even half of what is experienced on the women’s team at Flagler,” Buning said. “It is more than just a soccer team, we do not just share the struggles and success that happens on the field. We are a family who share almost every waking moment together.”

Buning finished her 2010 season having started in all 17 matches and attempting six shots.

“We laugh together, we cry together and we help each other on and off the field,” Buning said.

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