GREENSBORO, N.C. – Goalkeeper Rachel Collins will graduate this season and will be honored on Senior Night against Elon (Oct. 30). Recently she spoke to UNCGSpartans.com about her experience as a Spartan.
What made you decide to transfer to UNCG? At USC Upstate, I had two successful seasons personally but the team wasn't as competitive and didn't provide the competitive atmosphere I wanted. I knew transferring would be hard but I chose UNCG because I wanted a chance to be part of a competitive team that had a winning culture. I wanted a chance to compete and be a part of something bigger than just me.
What has been your favorite memory since being a part of the team? I have so many great memories with my team. One thing I will always remember are the funny moments in practice with the other goalkeepers, shout out to big Jon but my favorite memory on the team has to be beating Elon and winning conference last year. I can’t really explain it but the atmosphere that night was just right. We all knew we were there to win and Elon was the only thing separating us from the conference title.
How long have you been playing soccer and when did you start as a keeper? I have been playing soccer since I was four or five and I used to be a forward until the end of middle school when I became a keeper. Our teams’ goalkeeper left and I was tall and played basketball so the coach figured I could catch. I haven't been out of the net since.
Who were your Role Models growing up? My role models growing up and to this day are my parents. They have always worked so hard to give me everything I have ever needed. They have been to every soccer game, basketball game, dance recital and swim meet I’ve had. They have always been my biggest fans. I couldn't have asked for a better support system over the years and they will never know how much I love and appreciate them.
What is the most important skill to learn as a goalkeeper? I would say the most important skill as a goalkeeper is to not be too hard on yourself. It is very easy to blame all the goals that are scored on yourself. You have to be able to get the ball out of the back of the net with your head held high. Also I would say you have to learn to be a little crazy. You have to be able to throw your body at someone’s foot intentionally.
If you could give a piece of advice to a teammate about succeeding in college soccer what would you say? I would say that perseverance is the key to success. There will be struggles and it will be hard but you have to be willing to put in extra work, take criticism and do your best every single day. You have to be able to look back at your college career and think that you have done everything you could. Time flies by way to fast and you don’t want to have any regrets when it’s all said and done.
If you could start your college career over again, what would you change and why? I wouldn't change anything. Every experience I have had over the last three years has made this year that much more special. Actually, one thing I would change is the day I was late to breakfast during preseason. I have never ran that much in my life, I would definitely go back to that day and walk a little faster that morning but I was never late to anything after that day.
What are your career aspirations after college? After college I want to teach children and travel all over. I love kids and I do not think there is a more honorable profession than teaching. Also I love traveling and seeing different cultural perspectives especially when it comes down to teaching. You learn a lot about yourself when you are vulnerable and are put into a whole new environment.