Junior soccer player proves endurance is key on, off field

Athletes connect to their sports at a deep level as they spend hours honing their skills and making sacrifices for their craft. Soccer players must maintain a level of endurance not required in many other sports and junior Erin Nugent has used those lessons in endurance in all areas of her life. Erin has spent the past thirteen years playing soccer both in league and with the school.

“My favorite memory is from freshman year when we went to playoffs,” Erin said. “On the bus we were all singing and it was a pretty day so it felt nice out. All the girls on the team were just excited that we made it to playoffs that year.”

In order to stay at her best, Erin has made sacrifices to continue playing soccer at the level and intensity that she does.

“I’ve had to give up grades, sleep, nutrition, friend time, and this weekend I had to sacrifice a lot of homework,” Erin said. “Water and sleep are the two most important things to stay at my best, but even those suffer at times.”

Though Erin makes in so many different parts of her life, Erin still excels in other ways.

“She’s a great leader,” girl’s soccer coach Chris Gibson said. “She is almost like my second assistant coach on the field, making sure people are in the right place, doing their jobs, motivating, encouraging, and working hard. She knows what works and what doesn’t.”

Teammates also take note of Erin’s leadership skills, both on and off the field.

“On the field, she’s really good at telling people where they need to be, and  communicating what’s best and what needs to happen,” junior teammate Jada Moody said. “She has really good patience when it comes to mistakes, and she tries to build up the confidence in the team by encouraging us. She knows soccer.”

Erin’s work ethic doesn’t stop on the field.

“She does a great job in the classroom,” Gibson said. “She leads by example in time management and making sure her priorities are straight by always making sure she gets her work done, gets to practice, and gets to her off-the-field activities. She always is on top of everything and never gets overwhelmed by it.”

Erin’s teammates see the work she puts in for both soccer and academics and appreciate the help she offers for both.

“She is really helpful when it comes to academics, because I have a lot of classes with her,” Jada said. “She’s always looking out for a lot of the students and even if a teacher didn’t explain something well and she understands, she’ll try to help everyone get caught up.”

As an athlete, Erin has continued to mature and grow into her role as a leader on the team.

“When she started off, she was really quiet,” Gibson said. “She would say some things, but just let the leaders lead. Now she knows it’s her time to lead.”

Through soccer, Erin has been able to make new connections and positive experiences with many different people.

“My favorite thing about soccer is being able to work with so many girls from different backgrounds,” Erin said. “We all have fun together and that translates to the field. It shows when everyone is working hard and working together.”