Lauren Thomas looks back at her time on the RMU women’s soccer team

Lauren Thomas, Contributor

  As a senior on the women’s soccer team, I’ve learned a lot, season after season, year after year. And for the past four years I’ve grown; not in size, well maybe a little, but I’ve grown as a person.

  Soccer has always been the most interesting and time -consuming aspect of my life, but as a senior in high school, in the small town of Wheeling, West Virginia, there was no question that I wanted to get out. Only a few athletes at my high school had the chance to go further with their sports, and I was one of them. This is when I chose Robert Morris University.

  As for my freshman year here at RMU, I could honestly say I did not know what I was getting myself into, but coming into preseason was an unbelievably easy transition, as the older girls on the team really took me under their wings. They made me feel welcome, which is important with any sporting team, groups, etc. I felt as if I had just been welcomed into a family. It had felt like I become one of about twenty sisters.

  That year, I had the opportunity to go to many different places while travelling with our team. We went to Las Vegas, which was an absolute blast, but the most memorable trip for me, to this day, was when we travelled to Costa Rica. We went there for 9 days, but only played 3 games, therefore making it a bit of a vacation. We stayed in three different hotels, the first being in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. There, we experienced a large amount of culture. We even danced with those native to the country. Next, we went to Arenal, where we stayed at a hotel right underneath a volcano. Scary, I know. But as scary as it was, it was beautiful. It was located in a jungle, and during our stay there, we visited a waterfall. After we left that hotel we went to Flamingo Beach for four days of relaxation. Overall, it was an unreal time.

  Sophomore year, we were sad to have lost the seniors from the year before, but ready to take on another year. I, however, did not come in to preseason in top shape, so I made it difficult on myself. Our team did pretty well that season, but we did not break any previous records, or have a winning season.

  Junior year was a tough one for me. After quickly remembering that the previous preseason had really kicked my butt, I knew that I had to come into preseason in shape. So I did, but that season I was doomed. In about September of my junior year, I started to have major pain in my right hip. After evaluation, arthrograms, and MRI’s, we found out that I had a labral tear. The tear made it difficult for me to walk, making it excruciating to run. I only played in about 5 games, leaving the option of a medical red shirt open.

  Senior year held the ultimate – a winning season. Our girls came out so ready to play from the start beating big schools such as Syracuse and Eastern Washington. Those wins set the pace for our season. We were only going up from there. We had a lot of great goals, saves, and an overall great attitude towards what needed to be established as the season progressed, and essentially we got it done.

  This season, we had the opportunity to do something we’ve never done before as a program, which was make it to the North Eastern Conference Tournament, or NEC’s. Though we fell short by only a point or two, I still feel that we deserved to be there.

  Costa Rica may have been the most memorable trip I had been on, but this season trumps everything, making it the most memorable experience. A winning season was something that we had never had the chance to say we accomplished, but we can now.  

  I’ve learned so many things from these girls, seen so many tears and so many smiles that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Deborah Palmore once said, “Even when you’ve played the game of your life, it’s the feeling of teamwork that you’ll remember. You’ll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you’ll never forget your teammates.”