By MC Bell | firstname.lastname@example.org
That day back in August when I woke up for my first practice and stepped out to do my fitness test, I immediately felt support; something that for me, had been missing for years.
The support and team chemistry that’s been present with Flagler’s women’s soccer team this season has been a breath of fresh air. The positivity and attention to detail that both our coaches and players put into every practice and game is the biggest difference between club soccer and college. The infectious positivity in every player’s attitude creates a sense of unwavering confidence that can only make us better.
I especially recognized this on the day of our first preseason game. I woke up anxious for the game. It was going to be my first college game ever. It was an experience that was going to change my views on working as a team and playing for one another. It was going to change how I view passion for the sport. The girls I have had the opportunity to play with were going to show me what it really means to play soccer competitively. I was no longer going to dread game days and have coaches breathing down my neck waiting for me to mess up. It felt liberating and free.
Kick off could not come any quicker. Every time I thought of the game, my heart would quicken to a pace that felt like a million miles a minute. Classes were hard to concentrate in; small talk was even hard without mentioning something about that night. At T-minus two hours, I arrived at the complex with the sensation that we were not going down easy. I had absolutely no idea what to expect or what the game was going to mean later. At 30 minutes to kick off, we started warm-ups. You could feel the energy and the sense we were ready to bury St. Leo, ready to make a name for ourselves.
The first half started. I was mostly enthralled with how quick the speed of play was, as well as the immense technical ability some of the players from both teams possessed. It passed in a blur. Half time came quickly. I honestly don’t even remember the score. But what I remember most is the conversations our team had that day. It started off with a positive note of how we can win this game, followed by some changes to formation, and then the motivation hit. The motivation that came from the hours of work, the trial and error, the process of trying to find ourselves as a team. It was then that it all clicked. It all made sense why we were doing what we were doing. The reason this game was so memorable was not because of how well we played, but the dedication and passion you could see on everyone’s faces, the will to win the game. Our team wanted the game, we showed up to prove we are a team that has a chance at finals this year. We are a team that is going to do the best it’s done in years. A team that’s here to challenge the status quo.
All the rough practices and times that I had been through prior to Flagler were immediately erased. It reminded me why I play and why I love it so much. It’s something that had been missing for years now, but in this game, I found it again.
Never again will I forget the reason I love to play.