The MVNU Women’s soccer team’s senior class redefined what it means to be a teammate during their last season as Lady Cougars.
"They put their sisters' needs before themselves both on and off the field.”
Assistant Coach Rick Seiffert (Papa Coach) called this year’s senior class “selfless servants,” who took on leadership roles and made each player feel important to the success of the team.
As a result, the chemistry on the team has been among the best he has seen in his nine years at MVNU.
“As we all know, there is no team success without the team being unified. We credit that unity this year, to this senior class,” he said.
Those seniors are Maddi Moore, Hannah Michael, Regina Rudder, Caylee Rosa, Danielle Darkow, and Kamryn Courtright.
Maddi Moore, goalkeeper for the Lady Cougars and criminal justice and psychology majors, plans to attend Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy after graduation. Moore's favorite memories are from indoor futsal during winter and spring training.
"I loved our team competitions because you get to choose who is on your team, battle against the other teams, and everyone gets so hyped,” she said.
Moore said she will miss every aspect of college soccer: “practices, games, and seeing the same faces every day. Everyone pushes one another to get better,” Moore said.
Moore said to take advice from upperclassmen because they've been through it all.
"Live it up. Take it all in. Before you know it, you’re done. Most importantly, have fun," Moore said.
Hannah Michael, a goalkeeper and early childhood education major, plans to teach after graduation.
Her favorite memories from college were team overnight trips for games and listening to her teammates give their testimonies.
"I loved being able to spend the night with different girls and have fun," Michael said. “I am definitely going to miss the girls. But I am also going to miss staying in shape, and not getting fat.
"My words of wisdom are 'Just do something,' (inside joke), make fun of the coaches any chance you get, and just have fun," Michael said.
Regina Rudder, center defender, will graduate with an English major and history minor. She plans to go to grad school and teach following her senior year.
Rudder said that her favorite memories are the preseason team bonding and being on campus together before classes start.
"It's nice because even though we are there for school, we can be focused on just soccer and relationships during preseason. There's no pressure from school yet," she said.
Rudder said she will miss the “Christ-centered community.”
“Everyone here is so great,” she said. Leaving MVNU will “be an opportunity to share the gospel being surrounded by people who don't share the same views as me. It'll be good, but challenging."
Rudder encouraged her teammates and other athletes to invest in others.
"Always help others to become the best that they can be. If you’re helping others improve, you’re going to improve as well. Give your maximum effort and time, because college athletics is bigger than just you," Rudder said.
Danielle Darkow, also a center defender, plans to find a teaching position after graduating with a degree in integrated language arts education.
Her favorite memory is when the team went to New York City her junior year.
Darkow said she will miss the relationships she has built over the last four years.
“They will still be there, but they won't be the same,” Darkow said.
"Enjoy it, and put your heart into it because it is an awesome experience that should not be taken for granted. But don't make it your everything,” Darkow said. “Keep your priorities straight because like Coach says, ‘You’re a person a lot longer than you're a soccer player.’”
Caylee Rosa, a business management major, plans to move back to her hometown in Cincinnati after graduation.
Her favorite memories are from her freshman and sophomore year.
“Some of my teammates and I climbed on top of Pioneer Hall's roof, went stargazing, and got in a prank war with the seniors,” Rosa said.
Rosa also remembers her team watching (and singing along to) “High School Musical” on a bus trip back to campus after a tournament loss that year.
Rosa will miss being around such great friends every day.
"Never take the atmosphere of the school, the four years of being with your friends, and growing for granted. It goes by so fast," Rosa said.
Kamryn Courtright, outside midfielder, will graduate with a double major in exercise studies and sports management, and will become a certified personal trainer.
Her favorite memory was from sophomore year when the team went to the sand dunes in Michigan. She said she will miss the competition and “the people who make this experience so great.”
Courtright told her peers to make the most of their collegiate experience.
"Don't take one second for granted because these years go by super fast. Go Cougs!" Courtright said.
Head Coach Daniel Seiffert said the seniors leave behind a “terrific legacy.”
They were “fantastic teammates who put their sisters’ needs before themselves. Their leadership, their love for others, and their drive is going to be greatly missed,” he said.