As a coach and player, we all have that one moment in our athletic career that stands out from the rest. Whether it is a small or big moment, it's one that isn't comparable to other moments. Winning against a team ranked higher than yours, implementing a new game strategy and succeeding, or winning in game-time pressure - whatever it is, nothing is quite like it. See what some of our coaches favorite moment in their athletic career is!
Brian Wright: Assistant men’s soccer coach at Occidental College. Occidental College is a NCAA Division III institution located in Los Angeles, CA.
Tim Lenahan: Head coach for men’s soccer at Northwestern University. Northwestern University is a NCAA Division I institution located in Evanston, IL.
Nate Lie: Head coach for women’s soccer at Xavier University. Xavier University is located in Cincinnati, OH and is a NCAA Division I institution.
Paul Dill: Head coach of women’s volleyball with Massachusetts Institute of Technology or MIT. MIT is a NCAA Division III institution located in Cambridge, MA.
Maya Hayes: Women’s soccer graduate assistant coach at Auburn University. Auburn University is a NCAA Division I institution located in Auburn, AL.
Dan Klinect: Assistant men’s soccer coach with Emory University. Emory University is a NCAA Division III Institution located in Atlanta Georgia.
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Brian Wright tells a story of when he was the ages 16 and 17, when he played on a club soccer team that traveled to Europe to compete in tournaments. Brian remembers one game where they were playing in Belgium against all youth professional teams, and all the other teams were under the impression his team was a youth professional team instead of a club team - what they were. They ended up beating this team which led to a few of the players with opportunities to keep playing abroad.
Tim tells a story when 2013 Messi came to play at Soldier Field with an all-star team, and at the very last minute they realized they did not have enough players. They immediately reached out to Tim for some of his Northwestern soccer players. Tim says he couldn't use his current players, but he could use former players. Tim also had the opportunity to coach in the game. One of Tim’s past players, who had been working as an investment banker, had an amazing kick that ended up being the number one play on Sports Center the next day. That same player of Tims, ended up quitting his job and started playing professionally again - they filmed a documentary about it called 'Messi and Me.'
Nate says one of his favorite moments of coaching was from this year, when they won the regular season big east championship and played in the conference final against Georgetown, who was just coming off the final four in the previous year. They ended up beating Georgetown 2-0. Nate says the best part of the game for him was the second half of the game where he saw his team stay disciplined and mentally tough throughout the entire game.
Paul tells a story about a team he coached that was one of the most mentally tough teams he's had. They were playing in the NCAA tournament in the second round against a team they had lost to earlier in the season. Paul says they were losing again, 2 sets to 1 and the team had 6 match points on them in the fourth set. They ended up winning that set, the fifth set and the whole game. Paul says it was also against a team who was coached by one of his best friends.
Maya’s favorite moment as a player is from when she played professionally and won the 2012 U20 World Cup. Maya tells us that they beat Germany in the final however, three days prior they had lost to Germany. Maya says this moment for her is hard to beat and she looks forward coaching-wise for many more moments like this.
Dan tells a story of a game two years ago where their team scored an early goal, which worried him that the team will then not play as hard for the rest of the game. In the second half they decided to run a different formation and it ended up building the momentum of the team. The game ended up going into overtime and they ended up winning.
It is quite heartwarming to hear other coaches favorite moments within their athletic career. It is arguably the most awarding feeling as a coach or player to have that one moment that sticks out from the rest. All of it comes with hard-work, motivation, and passion for the game.
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