My name is Lauren Reilly and I am a senior captain for the Fairfield University Women’s Soccer team. I am fortunate enough to have been given the chance to share my personal thoughts, insights, and experiences with you all while chronicling my fourth and final season as a Fairfield Stag and I could not be more excited for the opportunity.
I guess I want to start this blog off with a little bit about me and my hopes for this upcoming season (Note: This blog and the many to come will involve plenty of quotes and clichés so bear with me…).
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage.”
Of the many wonderful things I can say about Jim and Fairfield University, the one thing I can’t express enough is my gratitude for him, my other coaches, my teammates, and the institution as a whole. I used to be the type of person that was extremely driven by the prospect of proving people wrong, of silencing the critics. I approached the game with a chip on my shoulder and a desire to turn all the skeptics into believers. I entered college with that mindset but I sit here 3 years later and realize that proving people wrong isn’t what drives me anymore. What truly motivates me are not the critics, but the believers. My motivators are not found in the people in my past who never thought I’d make it, they are found in my coaches, my teammates, my family, and my friends who all helped ensure that I did. My supporters, the people who invested in me and my abilities and never looked back; The people who believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself; Those are the people that drive me and inspire me every single day to be the best possible player, leader, and person I can me. I play for those people because I owe them everything and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I sit here today in a position that I can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be in. I am a part of an amazing team with teammates I can call my best friends, coaches I can call esteemed mentors, in a school I can call a second home. I really have been given everything, and now, with one year left, I need to find a way to give a little more of myself and help this program go a littler further than it ever has before.
I guess more than anything, I just want this team to reach and then exceed its potential. I want all of my teammates to expect more from themselves and then achieve more than they thought possible. I want this team to set the bar as high as we possibly can so we can walk off the field after our last game this year and know that the program will be held to higher standard the following fall.
So go ahead and call us a long-shot, don’t rank us, underestimate us, tell us we’re wrong; just don’t be surprised if the Fairfield Stags ignore the critics, embrace the believers, and have the courage to “map out a course of action and follow it” straight toward a few upsets in the NCAA Tournament come November.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to checking back in after our first 2 games of the season against the University of New Hampshire and the University of Vermont.
Breathe. Battle. Believe.