The fall sports’ season is coming to an end. For many athletes it is just another one that will go by. But for the seniors, this is their final season of playing a fall sport in college.
They have celebrated victories, cried due to losses, and shed sweat with their teammates in practices. As they count down towards graduation, fall season athletes are reflecting on their past four years of competing at Ursinus.
Sydney Gonzalez, a volleyball player, said that the best thing out of her four years as an athlete was the family-like connections she made.
“The relationships I have formed with my teammates are unlike any other relationships I have in my life,” she said, “they are…my lifeline…my confidants and so much more.”
In terms of best memory, she points out her team’s recent win within the Centennial Conference.
“For many years our team has struggled with conference matches. This year, however, we pulled together more cohesively than I have ever seen us and beat Dickinson. The way the team played, and how it felt to have everyone [energized will stick with me].”
For now, it doesn’t feel like anything has changed, despite her collegiate career coming to an end.
“The relationships I have formed with my teammates are unlike any other relationship I have in my life.” — Sydney Gonzalez Class of 2019
Gonzalez said, “It hasn’t re- ally sunk in yet. Right now…I am [taking] in the fact that I have played a sport for half my life and…I look forward to focusing on my next adventure!”
For Senior Riley Engel, her best memory from cross county is breaking the school record at the twilight meet last fall.
“I went into the 2-mile race just hoping to beat my time from the previous season, [and] having a pacer to push and motivate me was really helpful. I had no idea that I was going to break the re- cord but…I cross[ed] the finish line and my coaches came up and [hugged] me, [telling] me I was the new school-record holder. I ended up breaking [the record for the mile] by seven seconds,” Engel said.
Senior Jonny Cope also shared his favorite memory, which is when the team travelled to Salisbury, Md. two years ago. He liked being with the team, and they had a good opening season at the time.
Both stated that their season ending is a “bittersweet feeling,” and it has not fully hit them yet.
Cope said, “Thankfully, in a sport like cross-country, we still have the indoor/outdoor track season before ending our time in the program. [Then] the emotions will hit me a lot harder!”
Some seniors have already begun to feel the emotions. Women’s soccer player Kailey Ryan is sad that this was be her final sea- son at Ursinus, if not overall. She took away a lot from her college experience on the soccer team and has many memories from soccer.
Ryan said, “I enjoyed the friends I met that I became so close to. The team made the whole [playing] experience, and getting through the highs and lows, so much better. My favorite memory was making it to the Centennial Conference playoffs my freshman year. Although we didn’t make it to the finals, it was still an awesome experience.”
Congratulations to these seniors for maintaining the role of an athlete all four years, while simultaneously being a college student. Their athletic careers may be ending but greater things are to come!