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“When you’re younger you want to be the person that scores all of the goals,” says team co-captain Victoria (Tori) Laroche ’18, the one who is now committed to doing her best to save those goals for the Emmanuel College Women’s Soccer team.
Laroche started playing soccer in kindergarten on a New Hampshire recreational team in her hometown. As she grew up, she moved on to a travel team, and then to a club team in her middle and high school years.
She didn’t always play goalkeeper though. She started out as a striker and her coaches would decide game by game who would play in goal that day.
“Nobody ever wanted to play goalie, but I loved it.” She took that passion for the position into the sixth grade and it has carried her all the way to now, where she has taken an even bigger role on this team.
The title of a captain was something that she was very excited and honored to receive. She’s previously been captain of her soccer, basketball, and track teams in high school, but believes that in college, captaincy is something different.
It’s whole new level of respect and the standards for her and her two fellow co-captions, Maggie Carey ’17 and Ashley Frank ’17, are now higher. They are role models for the whole team, particularly the freshmen, but Laroche believes that especially with the group of seniors they have right now that there are plenty of role models for the younger members to look up to.
“We have a great group of seniors this year. All of them are such phenomenal soccer players…obviously we’re going to miss them a lot next season,” said Laroche.
Laroche knows that she’s now in this role of higher respect, but she still has the same role of respect for the seven seniors that play beside her. As far as this season goes, the team did get off to a rough start losing the first four games and scoring only one goal, but Laroche knew that those times wouldn’t last.
Her coach, Wayne Currie, makes it so that the Saints play some of the hardest teams first. Not only does this wake the team up early on in the year, but it also shows the new freshmen players what college soccer is actually like.
Laroche admits that while those mental roadblocks of losing the way they initially did can be hard to deal with, they are beneficial in the long run.
“The hardships we had at the beginning of the year got us really ready for our level of play and the level that we see in the conference. Yeah it was tough, but it was tough for a reason.”
While they did face a 4-0 loss to MIT their fourth game of the year, Laroche felt that was the game where the switch happened.
The team began playing better and connected with each other more than they did at the beginning. When she noticed this, Laroche felt that this was the kind of game and level of play they needed to hold on to. The next three games included three straight shut out wins.
— EC Saints (@ECSaints) September 21, 2016
Laroche and the rest of the team have a lot to look forward to. They can take these next few weeks to get even more connected with one another and carry it into the playoffs.
Laroche said, “Our goal every season is to win the GNAC.” And in her final two seasons, she hopes that this goal becomes a reality.
Soccer is something that’s gone beyond the field for her. She plans to take her major in Psychology and minor in Biology into becoming a nurse.
“I love being able to help people…That’s all I care about in life is helping people,” said Laroche.
She attributes so much in her life to soccer, “My best friends from home, my best friends from here are from soccer teams.”
She also believes that she wouldn’t have gotten involved in Emmanuel’s Dance Marathon, which she is now on the executive board of, if it weren’t for her teammates talking about how great it is.
Laroche hopes that her work ethic, leadership and teamwork skills that she’s gained from soccer can rub off on other people. She wants to be a role model in her teammates lives, and so far it seems that she’s living up to her own expectations.
Merisa Boyd ’18 is a Staff Writer for The Hub. She can be contacted at email@example.com and on Twitter at @merisafaith.