Dec. 13, 2013
The series wraps up today, as each senior gives their final thoughts on what the last four years at the University of Michigan has meant to them.
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For me, the lesson I learned the most is the power of believing, both in yourself and in your team. Coming back from injury my junior year -- and these girls all know -- the first week of preseason for me was awful. I was finally recovered but was so unconfident and frustrated. I couldn't pass a ball five yards straight. Our coaches and this team literally picked me back up. They told me that I was fine over and over again. We all believed in one dream and in each other. I'm leaving here knowing who I am and what it really means to give your everything to something.
It's seeing the program come as far as it did in five years. To watch all the people that have come through here, I think about all the days on the practice field or doing fitness or being in the weight room. It meant a lot to be next to the girls that have been in this program. The people are what make the memories and what make the journey happen. I don't think you can ask for a better place to go to college or for better people to play with. I'll always remember this program, how we took something in its infant stages to where we are now. I'll always have that, knowing that I was able to do something, to be a part of something from the beginning. If you put in the work and effort and surround yourself with people that are doing the same, you can do a lot.
In summing up four years, I've learned to play for something bigger than yourself. You come here, meet the best people ever and play with them for four years. You realize you want to do everything you can to help them and help the team. For me, I wasn't about what I could do. You guys joke about how I get mad when I don't score, but it's only because I want to help the team. I want to make it easy on our defenders. You create these bonds with people, and you play for that. That's what I take away from this experience.
I learned about the power behind a family. Having so many people committed to the same goal; I didn't really know how powerful that really could be. The people in this room, that's who I've grown with the most. I wouldn't change anything because those experiences are only going to help me in the future. This will always be home because of you guys, because of the people I was able to go through it with and because of the year we had. Michigan is the greatest school in the world. I'm obviously so biased, but they provide you with everything you can possible imagine and more. We've tried to use that to do something special. This family, I'll have it forever.
You're never alone. There's not a time in these last four years where I've felt completely deserted or on my own. These people on this team -- the girls, the coaches, the trainers -- they are all there for you no matter what. That's what I am going to miss so much because we've grown so much together. I can't wait to continue those relationships and grow those bonds, and I can't wait to see what Michigan soccer does. We'll be watching it from a different standpoint, but it'll be fun to watch. I can't wait to see how these girls grow.
For me, it's been the relationships that I've formed here. I think just with school and soccer, you'll have highs and lows, but the constant has been the people around you. They're such a great support system. You're provided with everything and more. When I was recruited to come here, the program was struggling, but Greg told me his vision and the people he was bringing in. Everyone was going to buy into the system, to the vision and the dream. To be graduating at that place, it's a good feeling and a good way to go out.
Personally, with each year the program grew, I feel I grew as a person. I honestly know that I wouldn't have been able to get through it without the girls I met here. If I could have any wish, I would do it all over again because the four years with these people here at the University of Michigan have been everything I've ever dreamed of as a little girl wanting to play soccer at the next level.
Someone once asked me what I liked most about coaching, and I said winning. These guys are winners. They're winners on the field; they're winners off the field and will be winners in life. I'm proud of each and every one of them for how much they've dedicated themselves to changing the culture at Michigan, to raising the standards and to taking Michigan to new heights. On a much more personal level, I'm so proud of each of those young women for the kind of people they are. They've become great leaders, and they've led another group of young women and taught them how to be leaders. Most of all, I'm just going to be sorry they're done. I miss them already.
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