The Belmont women’s soccer team has openly welcomed seven new freshmen from around the country for the 2018 season.
Though the adjustment to college soccer has been a big one — Kayla Monis described the college level as “definitely a step up from high school” — the freshmen are mostly just excited to have the opportunity to play at the collegiate level.
For Monis, a midfielder from Naperville, Illinois, the decision to play in college was an obvious one.
“I can’t imagine my life without soccer, and I wanted to challenge myself by playing at the next level,” she said.
But the new level of play is just a small aspect in adjusting to life in college.
“The biggest struggle has been time management between school and soccer,” said Emma Sharou, a defender from Thousand Oaks, California.
Gainesville, Virginia, native Morgan Pettit agreed.
“I think the biggest adjustment is from soccer being an extracurricular to it being the center of your life,” said Pettit. “But the the team and coaches and everyone being so supportive has made the adjustment seamless.”
In the midst of that transition, the difficulties have mostly been overshadowed by the welcoming atmosphere created by the coaches and upperclassmen, said Megan Porras, a midfielder from East Windsor, New Jersey.
“They are so sweet and welcoming. They want you to succeed, and I feel like I am a part of a close knit community with a whole support system that is always there for me,” Porras said. “I can always ask for advice.”
For Gentry Davis, that support made campus feel like home.
A Springfield, Tennessee, native, Davis has known Coach Travis since she was 14, and he convinced her to join Belmont’s program. The coaches have made her Belmont experience extra special, she said.
“They ask about school, life and family and what they need to do to help you. They really take you in,” said Davis.
Emily Nguyen, a forward from Monument, Colorado, agreed.
“The coaches and the players really made me feel welcomed and showed interest,” said Nguyen. “You could really tell they wanted me to go here.”
Though Rachel Vernon has had to adjust her time management skills to fit the rigorous practice schedule, the team’s family-like atmosphere allows its members to grow and flourish, she said.
“You not only grow on the field, but also just in life. You do life together. That’s also one of things I liked about Belmont, is the family atmosphere.”
Be sure to catch these freshmen and the rest of the team at their next home game on Friday, as they take on Morehead State at 6:30 p.m..
This article written by Teagan Malecha and Steven Boero. Photos courtesy of Belmont University Athletics.