If the women’s soccer team’s run to the national championship game left an indelible mark on the new face of University of Chicago athletics, it no doubt left the team with memories that will last a lifetime. As the graduating seniors on the team look back on their four intense years of academic work, they will also remember being part of one of the most gifted athletic teams ever to take the field at this university. For some the road has been easy, while for others, like Christine Carqueville, overcoming adversity and keeping a sense of humor has been a unique challenge.
The run up to this year’s national championship game was made possible by a group of devoted fourth-years. Though the team remains fundamentally young, with second-year forward Renee Neuner and second-year midfielder Jacqueline DeLeon returning next season, head coach Amy Reifert put it best when she identified the strength of the team early on in the season, pointing out that “this team plays for their seniors.”
Second-year goalkeeper Andrea Przybysz echoed Reifert’s sentiments in her praise of teammate Christine. “Christine was intensely focused on the game at all times, whether in it or on the bench, and conveyed a sense of great investment in the team that showed others what it means to truly care.” This sense of commitment extended even to the games when Christine could not play.
Throughout the season, Christine put up impressive statistics. Over the course of 21 games, she contributed three goals and three assists, while attempting 24 shots. Through her continued leadership and perseverance in the face of adversity, Carqueville contributed far more than mere statistics.
After breaking her leg in her second year and re-injuring the same leg again this season, Carqueville learned not only to play through pain, but to lead others by the example of putting in “110 percent effort, regardless of her physical pain,” according to second-year teammate Ellen Fitzgerald. Christine’s attitude throughout her time on the team has remained positive and encouraging.
Christine’s teammates were all quick to point out her positive attitude, and the influence it had on the team throughout this last season. De Leon referred to her as a “jokester, but serious when she needed to be,” while Fitzgerald called her the type of person who “brightens up your day every time you see her.”
For her leadership role as a captain, Carqueville received even more praise. In describing the different viewpoints that dominated the locker room throughout the season, Przybysz singled out Christine as the one who “made it possible” to express opinions and gel as a team. Though Przybysz conceded that Christine, called “Teeny” by her teammates, could be “downright wacky” at times, she nonetheless made sure to note that despite her fun-loving attitude, Christine could easily “get to business and get things done.”
One of the team’s main objectives for this season was to win a national championship for Carqueville and fellow fourth-years Courtney Hardie, Erin Capener, and Ali Geiger, and the team’s loss to SUNY-Oneonta in the national championship game put a slight damper on the season. The team was, of course, disappointed after the game for the fact that the seniors were denied their chance to be champions. However, with a young, returning team, and the excellent example instilled through the leadership of players like Carqueville, the women’s soccer team has high hopes of bringing those fourth-years their national championship one year late.