If I told you every second as a Union women’s soccer player has been easy and enjoyable I would not be telling you the truth. I have been challenged in so many different ways my four years at Union and have grown so much because of it. Do not get me wrong, some of my favorite college memories have been made with my teammates, but things were not always sunshine and roses.
I believe what makes our team so strong is our common love for Christ and the hard times we have gone through together. It is so important to surround yourself with people who are working towards a common goal, and I definitely found that playing at Union.
My sophomore and junior year things looked a little bleak. We had players with a lot of talent but things never seemed to come together.
Senior year things were different. We had a lot of solid freshmen and returning players who were competitive and ready to win some games. The result of my senior season made everything our team had gone through the prior two years completely worth it. We overcame what the other coaches in our conference thought of our team (for those who don’t know they said we would end up 9th in the conference) and we also overcame how we saw ourselves as a program. We have just as much talent as any other team in the conference and maybe just a little more heart than everyone else because we were seen as the underdog.
I have made countless great memories with my teammates and my coaches. As crazy as this may sound some of my favorite memories were made on our long bus rides. One of my favorite memories with the team was senior year after one of our away games. I don’t remember which game in particular, but I do remember it being after a big win for us. We blasted music all the way home while dancing with our pizza. It was definitely a feeling I’ll always remember. Bus rides always seemed to be never ending but now thinking back on them some of the best memories were made there. Shaming a freshman for going number two…something that is forbidden,sleeping instead of doing homework, and laughing with teammates who became your family while at school.
Looking back on my time at UU, I am so grateful that times weren’t always easy. All of the time we spent working hard for our soccer program, sometimes with little to no results, really grew me as a person. I am so thankful that I had coaches that sincerely took the time to sit down with me to talk not only about soccer but also about my life. I’m going to miss putting on my uniform and playing with my team, but I think once a UU bulldog, always a UU bulldog.
– Katlyn Dupree #37