Blog: Last Time Out w/ Candace Rushing
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sometimes in a team's season, there is a game, or even multiple games, that just do not need to be discussed in depth.  Questions like, "What went wrong?" "What can we work on?" and "Can we put this game behind us?" are just about the only necessary points that need to be addressed. These are games when, in the beginning nothing can seem to go right, and for some reason or another, a turn-around is simply out of reach. 

Just last week, I envisioned my team winning out our last six games of the season.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, this weekend included some of the type of games mentioned above.  Both UT-Tyler and Concordia were teams that yes, would present us with a challenge, but should not beat us if we had played our soccer.  Sadly, we tied UT-Tyler 1-1 and dropped the Concordia game 1-0.  Winning out is still an option, however.  We have just four games left on our slate, but again, they are winnable games like every game, and we are looking forward to competing well for the next two weekends.

In order for us to accomplish success, the UT-Tyler and Concordia matches, especially Concordia, have got to be put behind us.  We, as a team, made an initiative to look forward and focus on our upcoming battles.  Ahead of us are Mary-Hardin Baylor, Howard Payne, UT-Dallas, and University of the Ozarks.  Each team will provide us with obstacles to overcome, however if we, in assistant coach Justin Neese's words, "Do what we do," then we will hopefully prevail. 

As we wind down to our last two weekends this season, I cannot stop thinking about my college soccer experience.  Mine has not been like most.  I have had the privilege of playing large amounts of minutes for four years, I tore my ACL and had to red-shirt a year, I was recruited by one coach and will end my last season under another one, I was recruited as a Division I player and had the honor of playing DI for three seasons, I will have played one season as a Division III athlete, and I have blogged for three of my five seasons as a Centenary Ladies soccer player. 

Although listed above are a few characteristics of a college athlete that many would not like to possess, I would not change a thing.  All of the adversity that has presented itself has only made me a stronger, more grounded person.  I revisit the time in my life when I was debating leaving Centenary to pursue other soccer options often.  Not once have I regretted staying.  This program has embraced me tightly and will always have a hold on me.  The relationships that I have made and maintained, the experiences I have had the opportunity of having, and last but not least, the incredible chance to be a college athlete, no matter what affiliation, have rendered me beyond thankful.  I can only hope that current Ladies and future Ladies will experience what I have thus far.

The seniors, Eren Corapcioglu, Laura Immenschuh, Catlin Orschel, and myself, will be honored on Saturday during the Howard Payne game.  Words cannot express how humbled and grateful I am to be sharing my last season with such a wonderful group of teammates.  I have had the joy of being teammates with these girls for four years.  We have had our ups and downs both as teammates and as friends, but again, I know we would not change a thing.  It is inevitable that we will remember and cherish one another for the rest of our lives. 

Throughout my last season, I have attempted to capture moments on camera that would give family and friends an insight as to what goes on behind the scenes of a Centenary Ladies soccer player.  Although this past weekend did not result in the way we would have liked for it to, I was still able to obtain footage that will help a family member or friend see how much fun we have together.  After you are done reading, make sure to check out the video below that contains some silly moments from us Centenary Ladies (and Gents as well). 

Make sure you come out to Mayo Field and support us as we play our last home games of the season this weekend.  We kick off on Friday at 4 pm and on Saturday at 4 pm as well.  Mary-Hardin Baylor will be our competition on Friday afternoon and we will turn around and host Howard Payne just twenty-four hours later.  Do not forget to support the seniors this weekend as we will play our final games at Mayo Field as Centenary soccer players. 

Until next time...

-Candace Rushing