By James LeClercq '17
Senior defender Ellie Rice is very confident in her team's ability to continue to move up the rankings and compete for the NCAA women's soccer National Championship. The whole program has worked tirelessly to get their team to the next level. Having proved herself as a solid defender individually, Rice started all 21 games for the Broncos in 2012 and off the field was honored as a part of the West Coast Conference All-Academic team. This year she has played in six matches and looks forward to the matches vs. Kansas (Sept. 27) and Cal Poly (Sept. 29) this weekend.
SCU: How do you feel your season has gone so far?
ER: So far I think this season is going very well. We started off a little rough in the opening weekend but we have grown tremendously as a team since then. Each week we are seeing improvements and we are very happy with where we are heading and the potential that this team has.
SCU: Do you have any special rituals you do the night before a big game and game day?
ER: My rituals are pretty simple. The night before the game I usually go over my notes and prepare for what I need to do to help the team. On game day I usually just take it easy. About an hour before I will listen to some music and visualize again what I need to do to help the team perform well.
SCU: As a defender, what is the hardest part about playing your position?
ER: Being a defender I would say the hardest part is staying mentally sharp and focused the whole 90 minutes. Making the right decisions and the right plays at the right times can be tricky sometimes. Also, as a defender, you have to be "one" with the rest of your back line. I have learned the importance of just playing with my instincts and trusting myself and those that are around me as being crucial parts to playing as a defender.
SCU: Since you were little, have you always thought you would be a soccer player in college?
ER: Ever since I was little it was always my dream and my goal to go to a good college and play soccer. Santa Clara has been more than I could have ever imagined. I feel so blessed and honored to be able to be here and represent such a prestigious school and soccer program.
SCU: As this is your senior year, what are you looking forward to achieving this season?
ER: As a senior, I just want to leave with no regrets. I am surrounded by such talented players, great teammates, and coaches that I think our success could be very special this year. This team has the talent and potential to win a conference and national championship and each day we are working toward reaching those goals.