By Kim Miller
Senior Sports Writer
As Asbury’s fall athletic teams wrap up their seasons, it is important not to overlook what was accomplished during the year besides wins and losses. The men’s soccer team had several ups and downs throughout the season; however, they still impressively placed second in the KIAC conference.
Soccer player Caleb Young said it best: “Friend first, teammate second,” he said. “Worry about things that are lifelong before you worry about things that are temporary.”
Athletes often look back on their performance throughout their college years with either pride or remorse. They smile when remembering how it felt the season they won conference or maybe even made it to Nationals. When cross country Nationals qualifier Taylor Diehl reflected on his past season, he said, “I came into this season much more determined than in the past. I ran more miles over the summer because I had decided from day one that I was going to be better than I have ever been before. My goal since my freshman year had been to break 29 minutes, and I finished my first 8K this season with a 28:50.”
Sometimes athletes look back at a season or two with regret, wishing they would have put more effort into it while it still counted. Some feel disappointment because their better years were in high school and others become frustrated when their highest potential was never reached.
When comparing high school and collegiate athletics, midfielder Toria Howard said, “College soccer is completely different from high school. College is much more competitive, and I have to work harder than ever before. I have more confidence on the field now than I ever have.”
No matter what an athlete’s reason is in participating in his or her sport, the team atmosphere will always affect him or her mentally and spiritually. Junior volleyball player Jessie Bartlow shared her opinion on how her team impacted one another in their desire for Nationals. “Each girl on the team is highly competitive,” she said. “When we scrimmage, I am always reminded of how thankful I am that I play on the same side of the net as my teammate because of how much drive and skill each girl adds.”
After recently winning the conference championship, midfielder Maddye Hahn for the women’s soccer team stated, “Our team is a huge family, and we play off of all the love and heart we have for one another. I knew my girls could do this because we wanted it so bad.” What it felt like for those girls to be a part of that specific team will be with them for the rest of their lives, and that memory is determined by the other teammates that surround them on that team.
The women’s cross country team had expected to win Conference all season, with the preconceived notion that they would be going as a team to Nationals for the first time in Asbury’s history. However, after falling short to Brescia University by a few points, the team was led in prayer by team captain, Sarah Moe. The positive approach towards the race and the season were high, even when they were defeated.
No matter how many times it has been, team really is everything. “If you act like family off the field, you’ll be a family on the field,” Howard said.