The Yellow Armband: Building on the Foundation
Clare Stachel

Dec. 3, 2012

Periodically throughout the 2012 season, tri-captains Holly Hein, Haley Kopmeyer and Clare Stachel will provide an inside look at the University of Michigan women's soccer team through this blog, The Yellow Armband. In this final entry, Stachel recaps the team's magical season and talks about the lessons learned during her time on the Michigan women's soccer team.

Almost exactly six years ago, Haley Kopmeyer and I verbally committed to play soccer at the University of Michigan. Upon arriving on campus in August of 2008, our captains at the time, Katie Miler and Kiki Thomas, spent all of the preseason teaching us about what it meant to be Michigan women and what a privilege it was to wear the block M. We read excerpts from the book "Bo's Lasting Lessons" and learned of Michigan's rich tradition which we could apply to our team on and off the field. That year we adopted the motto "HAIL." It is printed on the back of all our practice jerseys and is said in our huddle prior to every game. There was a growing, strong foundation created that year that has not only helped Michigan women's soccer become a presence in the Big Ten but has also laid a foundation for me as a person.

Four and a half years later and a lot of things have changed. We now have a beautiful stadium to play in, Michigan women's soccer is nationally ranked, and my body hurts a little bit more than it did my freshman year! With many changes in athletics and academics, let alone life, one thing that has remained is the foundation that was formed all those years ago. In that foundation is humility and perseverance and respect for the history that has come before us.

Through many challenges, lessons learned and celebrations, our team has added to that foundation this year. The standard was set higher than ever after a memorable season like the one we just had, and yet I have no doubt that Haley, Emily Jaffe and I are leaving this team knowing that they will continue to push the boundaries and add to the tradition that already exists. This team accomplished more than I ever dreamed coming into this season. We fought for Michigan on the field and truly played as a team day after day. This family broke records, changed perceptions and created believers whether they meant to or not.

Although my time with Michigan women's soccer has come to an end, the ties can never truly be broken, held together by the memories and most importantly the foundation that will carry me into the next stage of my journey. Thank you to the fans, the students and the administration that has supported us this past year. It will never be forgotten.

Forever Go Blue!

-- Clare

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