By Ashlyn Key –
The soccer team is doing very well this season. They won the ADIDAS “Team of the Week” award, along with being spotlighted as the NAIA “Game of the Week”, which allowed the team to move from being ranked 20th in the nation to 14th in the nation. This is the best that the RMC soccer team has ever done.
RMC’s soccer team is filled with players from many European countries, offering an experience that is special for each player.
While being a part of RMC’s soccer team is an exciting and reward-experience, it also offers many challenges for the players, the worst of which is missing so many days of class for games. Many players agree that it is tough to miss class, but the professors are willing to work closely with students to keep them on track. Senior Jack Clancy, hailing from Ireland and also one of the captains of the team, notes that missing class “is a struggle, but you get used to it after three years.”
Injuries are also challenges faced by soccer players. Some injuries take longer to heal and by the time the injury is healed, the soccer season is already over. Junior Eddie Cass from England dislocated and tore the tendons in his ankle, which resulted in reconstructive surgery. Recovery time for this surgery is roughly six months, causing him to be out of the game for the rest of the season. This is a devastating experience for an avid soccer player, but Cass enjoys watching his team from the sidelines during practice because it offers him a different perspective of his team: “I can tell when one player is having an off day, and I can see the effects of one person’s personality through the rest of the team.” He is able to notice each person’s character because of the “unique bond” that the team shares. He explains that “some people would expect it to be hard to get along with so many different cultures, but we all act as one.” Junior Mattias Hanna from Sweden comments that “the unique bond strengthens us as a whole.” Cass contrasts RMC’s team to prior soccer teams he has played on, and describes RMC’s unique experience, “I’ve played on teams before that have conflict in them — what goes on inside the team shows on the field.” The closeness of the team offers a great experience for all of the players.
Coming to live in America from another country also offers many challenges. Freshman Steven Forbes, from Scotland, instantly recognized that the altitude in Montana is a lot different from that of his home country. This was a challenge to get used to. Forbes also learned that the meal portions are a lot larger in America. Forbes found that being part of the soccer team made the transition to the American lifestyle a bit easier. He explains that “the soccer team helps because we all have the similar interest of soccer, and it is almost like a second family.” The team travels together, they practice together, they lose together, and they win together.
This family-like atmosphere helps the soccer team stay confident that they will make it to the finals in Florida this year.