"On the Sidelines with Candace Rushing"
Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009

Despite the recent Division III controversy among Centenary Athletics, women's head soccer coach Chase Wooten was able to retain all returning players as well as all incoming freshman and junior transfers for the 2009season. From as far as Laguna Beach, California to down south in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this year's incoming class comes from all over the country. Along with bringing in different styles and accents, these ladies also carry with them plenty of talent. I feel extremely honored to welcome them to Centenary as my teammates.

Three weeks before pre-season started for the Ladies, a disappointing and shocking decision for many athletes, coaches, and fans was made, pushing Centenary Athletics from Division I to Division III. Side swiped by the news, Wooten was at a loss for words. He simply contacted all returners and incoming players and let each of us know what was going on. To his surprise, each player decided Centenary College is where she wanted to be. In response to this outpour of dedication from his players, Wooten said "Loyalty like this is only seen in movies". Three and zero to start off the season, this loyalty is taking us places.

Scoring thirteen goals and winning the first three games, we are off to a great start. Freshmen Courtney Morris, Allison Rucinski, and Morgan Ulliman have all found the back of the net multiple times. Scoring eight out of the thirteen goals, these freshman, along with seven others and one junior transfer are making a huge impact on this team. With experience from the returners and a refreshing sense of excitement from the newcomers, this 2009 season will be a thrilling one for the Ladies.

Although the Division III decision has surely gotten us down and shaken, it will not tear us apart. We are here to play Division I soccer for the time remaining and will prove wrong whoever is in doubt that we can win. This season is special not only in regard to the potential we have but also in regard to who we are playing for. This time around our effort is not just for ourselves, our coaches, or our parents, but for one of our biggest fans and friends, Dean Womack. Made by our hands, we will be wearing black bands on our left arm in loving memory of him, keeping him by our side and close to our heart.

Come out and scream your head off, hackle the opposing team, and bring a friend. We would love to see our stands and standing area packed with the presence of Centenary, the school all twenty-eight of us chose over other institutions simply because we feel like we belong here. Check out GoCentenary.com for our schedule. See you at Mayo Soccer Field under the lights.

-Candace