Farewell to past four years of my life
BY MARIA PROKOPOWICZ and MARY SLADE DUKE on MAY 16, 2014
It is hard to believe that this Tuesday night, I played in my final Rose soccer game. A 2-0 loss to our rival New Bern in the first round of the state playoffs, the game ended with a wave of emotion I did not see coming. I never could have anticipated the feeling that arose from realizing my Rose soccer career was coming to a close.
I am sad to see this season end, however as final seasons go, this was a pretty great one. After three years of the overwhelming Wilmington conference, this year was a breath of fresh air. Our new conference, combined with an incredible freshman class gave our team a new life. We were finally able to compete with, and often dominate, our opponents.
Not only did we finish with a winning record, we accomplished incredible feats as a team. For the first time in over twenty years, Rose women’s soccer beat New Bern. The 1-0 victory has left a sweet taste in my mouth ever since.
Aside from being winners on the field, our team won off the field, too. It is rare to find a group of twenty-plus teenage girls who can spend five to six days a week together and not have any drama. However, our team is like that. Really, not kidding. That is a huge win, and I love our team for it.
This season was awesome, but I can’t deny that there were times over the past few years when I wanted to stomp off the field forever. There were times when I was so angry at myself or the coaches or the circumstances of the games that I almost lost it. There were losses so painful, yellow cards so unjust, and practices so grueling that I thought Rose soccer was going to be the end of me. Dramatic, yes, but seriously, there have been some rough patches over the seasons.
I am so glad I played until the end. I cannot picture my high school years without the bus rides to Wilmington, the “mental toughness” workouts, and the pride I felt when running across the field after a win to thank our fans.
The bonds that develop on the soccer field are not like a regular friendship. They are subtle and meaningful. I feel a bond with my teammates this season I have never felt before. Especially my co-defenders, Sara, Paige and Emmy, I am so glad I got to play with you.
To my fellow seniors: we made it through the Wilmy years together, and I think that is pretty impressive. VA, Abby, Ellie and Madeline, I’m so thankful soccer brought us together. Erin and Lyda: I would have never survived it without you, I love you guys.
Dameron and Smith, thank you for for believing in me as a player and a person and helping me to reach my potential as a half-way decent soccer player. Thank you for not giving up on me, even when I was a brat.
These past four years have been quite an adventure: from being a meek freshman JV player who thought she was a star, to being a sassy sophomore who saw more bench than field, to fighting my way into a starting varsity spot.
Rose soccer, I’ll miss you. Good luck in the future. Sink your teeth in and whatnot. Score lots of goals and have lots of shutouts.