College Sports Builds Friendships, Dominates Life

Abby Wittler, Staff Writer, Journalism I

Miranda Hansen, an NDA alumni who played soccer all four years of her high school career, now plays at St. Norbert College.

She has been playing soccer for 15 years and has loved every moment of playing. However, she says she loves college soccer five times more than high school soccer because it is a new and rewarding experience.

She chose to take the path of college soccer not only because she loves the game but also because she knew being on a team gives you a built-in friend group that you will always have.

She feels that her college team is much closer than her high school team because they spend more time together. “In college, your whole life revolves around soccer,” she explained.

This is the biggest difference she has noticed between college and high school soccer.

“You eat, live, hang out with, study with, and practice with these girls, especially during the season,” Hansen said.

Even though they spend so much time together, they still get along and always have fun.

Another big difference between college and high school is that they travel much more frequently and much farther. At one point the SNC team had an eight-game, on-the-road streak and traveled up to six hours for a game.

In high school, the girls mostly play for fun, but in college everyone is serious and competitive so it is a much more intense game.

“Everyone has the competitive nature in college,” she said.

To her, it feels more official to play in college because only a select few girls play in college, and it feels like you are up one more step from high school.

For her whole life she was coached with a four-man in the back, but now her coach uses a three in the back, man-on-man.

“That was a scary and intimidating change for me to adjust to,” said Hansen.

This season her team was very successful. They tied first for conference champions with Knox College, where  fellow alum Abby Thillman plays. Since they were top ranked in their conference prior to that game, they got to host the game at Schneider Stadium.

Individually, Hansen also had a very successful season where she started and played most of every game. She is one of three underclassmen that started this year on a team of 28 girls.