Tag Archives: National Championship

NCAA Champions!

On August 30th 2014, I met Dave and that night he told me how he was going to win a national championship. He took my phone and put the NCAA DIII National Championships (April 24-26) in my phone calendar and I promised I’d be there…

Fast forward to January 2015 and I’m sitting at home bored out of my mind, wishing I was back in New York City. I had thought about booking trips to New York to see friends, interview at companies, and pack up my old apartment, but realized that I should just book a surprise visit for the NCAA weekend in April. Despite the fact that it is incredibly difficult to make the NCAA tournament, let alone win it ,in my mind, it was a win-win. I would get to see Dave, be back in the city and get a ton of volleyball in! So I booked my flight for April 23-28, which would later turn out to be a mere 48 hours after my flights for Formal. Truth be told, I wanted this weekend to be a surprise but Dave had an inkling that I’d show up so I told him.

There was electricity flowing through the air when I arrived in Hoboken on the first day of the tournament. Everybody was buzzing about the tournament and looking forward to the Ducks dominating their competition.Stevens faced off against Baruch and won in an easy three set match on Friday afternoon. I stayed for the following quarterfinal to watch the other team, while the boys “scouted” and took notes on their tendencies. On Saturday, the team took on a rambunctious SUNY New Paltz team (and crowd) in 5 sets and advanced to the national championship game against Springfield! I felt like I was holding my breath the entire match and was so relieved to see them pull of the win. Phebe and I woke up early on Sunday morning to make signs for the team (see below) and got the arena early to secure front row seats! I can’t even begin to describe the atmosphere – I felt like I was at a professional sporting event with the jam-packed bleachers and chants flowing back and forth between the opposing sides of the gym. The boys pulled off a three set win against the Springfield Pride – they made winning look so easy!

That weekend Dave was also announced as the 2014-2015 National Player of the Year and First Team All-American among many other academic and athletic accolades. Huge congratulations to Dave and the rest of his team on a fantastic year! I’m excited to see what comes next.



If you were to log into my Facebook the past couple of weeks, you’d be inundated with statuses about some of my friends making the NCAA tournament, photos of various college teams, and check-ins to airports across the airport. Last night I received multiple Snapchats from my parents and sister about the Final Four tournament in San Diego, where Penn State beat FSU and UNC defeated Stanford. To say that I was a little bit depressed last night would be an understatement. It was tough for me to see these teams still playing, seeing their dream still alive. What made it worse, however, was hearing that Emory made it into the DIII National Championships (which will be played tonight at 6:30). They will be facing Messiah whom they beat earlier this season. Emory comes into the National Championship game with a 15-1-7 record – their only loss coming from us, while Messiah comes in with 22-1-1 record – their only loss to Emory. Though it is difficult (to say the least) to watch these teams battle each other for the national championship, I can (and do) take pride in the fact that we beat Emory this year, so I hope they win.

Moving on… Next season has already been deemed the redemption season. There is nothing more in the world that I want than to go onto the NCAA tournament and just go out and win it. 

Our coach recently sent us an email following the end of the season. She often sends us quotes or stories, but this one invoked feelings when evaluating our season. It just spoke to me

Simon Hartley who wrote “Be World Class” was published in the NSCAA Publication “The Soccer Journal”.

When I see tough players, fists aren’t banging. In fact, the toughest players I’ve seen tend not to be physically or verbally intimidating. Maybe they don’t need to be. Instead, the players who show true mental toughness tend to display three distinct qualities.

Commonly seen as “bounce-back-ability” and the capacity to thrive in adverse situations.
The ability to keep going and push to the limit.
The ability to make good decisions and execute skills to a very high standard, while “under pressure.” 

For those fellow soccer players and athletes out there, I hope this excerpt proves as inspiring and eye opening to you as it did for me. My goals for next year include being a mentally tough player as defined above.For the non-athletes, I hope this sheds some light into the mental aspect of athletics which is  a large part of my soccer career – especially as a goalkeeper. 

Here’s a quote for the weekend! Stay inspired 🙂41939840249689192_ceuv8IH4_c