Austyn Anderson and Caroline Haslach are more than just fellow managers for the Belmont soccer teams. The women have been best friends since first meeting their freshman year.
While the two would pass one another in the hallways in Patton Hall, Anderson and Haslach formed a friendship.
“We were roommates at orientation the summer going into freshman year, and then we ended up both living in the same hall,” said Anderson.
A great opportunity came about through Anderson’s connections while working in the athletic office her sophomore year. When she found out the former men’s soccer manager was graduating, she decided to apply.
“There was a position opening up, so I heard about it before anyone else,” said Anderson. “It was the same situation with the women’s manager. There were two spots open, so I applied for one and referred her for the other.”
There were no written applications for the positions. The coaches wanted to make sure Anderson and Haslach knew what the job entailed and if their personalities were compatible with the coaching staff.
Although they are both soccer managers, their job tasks are slightly different for each team.
“Our jobs are kind of different, too. I have to travel with the girls. I’ve got stuff I have to do on the road as well,” Haslach said.
Haslach packs the players’ bags while on the road with the team. Anderson also does it for the men, but she cannot travel with them.
“I don’t travel since I’m a female manager and it’s a male team with an all-male coaching staff. It makes it a different situation and more expensive for me to travel because I have to have my own accommodations,” Anderson said.
One of the tasks both Anderson and Haslach handle is doing all the laundry for the players.
“When you have like 30 players that practice on a daily basis, the laundry stacks up quite a bit,” Anderson said.
Haslach joked that the inventor of the white uniforms is “not a helpful person.”
There is a decent amount of scrubbing and soaking all the uniforms prior to actually washing them.
“It’s nice when we play at home. We have a turf field so its not as bad as home, getting some of the turf wear and tear isn’t nearly as bad when we travel and the guys come back with grass stains and mud,” Anderson said.
Throughout their time with the two teams, both women have become close friends with the players.
“We were both really good friends with a lot of the men’s players before taking the job. We kind of became friends with the rest of them through the process. Same thing with the girls. Several other girls are nursing majors, and I’m a nursing major, so I knew a lot of them through that,” Anderson said.
Haslach and Anderson are not only close with the players but with the coaches as well.
“The coaches make sure to know that we are a part of the team, and they are really awesome at telling us that we are a part of the family. If we need anything, they are there to help us,” Haslach said.
Anderson and Haslach put in a similar time commitment as the athletes.
“They’ve got practices, and their sports are a part of their life. The thing that I think makes a difference is that any down time they have, especially on away trips, I’m working. There have been multiple times that I do laundry on the road, so when we get back from dinner and it’s like 8 o’clock at night, I’ll be doing laundry until 2 o’clock in the morning,” Haslach said.
Anderson noted while the time commitment is similar, the effort level is different. But she and Haslach have adjusted.
“It’s really normal for us. It’s both of our second year doing it. So it’s kind of like second nature now,” said Anderson.
This post was written by Katelyn Foehner