For most freshmen, making the academic transition from high
school to college is hard enough. Now imagine making that same
transition in terms of collegiate athletics. Midfielder Judy
Coffman describes it as harder than she could have possibly
imagined. But Coffman joins six other freshmen making that leap to
the Michigan women’s soccer team.

As many freshmen are discovering, college life is just a little
bit faster-paced, and that’s no different from on the field.

“Everything’s fast,” said defender Brenna Mulholland. “It’s a
lot more difficult, and every player out there is good, and they
know the tactical and technical aspects of the game.”

Midfielder Katelin Spencer agrees that it’s sometimes hard to
keep up. These athletes have to worry about academics as well, just
like any other student. Many of the same issues that face all of
the freshmen face the athletes.

“It took us a while to learn (our teammates’) names,” said
Coffman.

Coffman also said how hard it is to be ahead in class and how
little free time the freshmen have. But what little time the
Wolverines do have, they make the most of it. After practice ended
during the preseason, the freshmen found ways to take their minds
off their troubles.

“There are way too many ice cream places in Ann Arbor,” said
Spencer. “I know it’s so bad, but it’s so good. The team also went
on a canoeing trip; it was a lot of fun, and it gave the entire
team a chance to bond.”

Forward Lauren Fifield also praises the great team atmosphere.
Nightly trips to Urban Outfitters were one of the ways the team
came together in the weeks before class.

As the freshmen get into the rhythm of class and practice,
things are getting easier. Extended playing time has allowed them
to get more comfortable on the field.

And when times do get tough, the upperclassmen are always there
to help out. Keeper Megan Tuura credits senior Susie Grech and all
the goalkeepers with helping her adjust.

“I look up to the seniors tremendously; it’s an honor to be on
the field with them,” Spencer said.

The girls have high aspirations for the team. The freshmen all
agree that the team will be in the hunt for the Big Ten
championship even though it is off to a rocky start at 0-3-1.

Of course the freshmen still have a few things to learn. Tuura,
who hails from Georgia, comments on how she likes Ann Arbor because
it has a lot nicer weather.

Then again, it’s only September.

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