Shared Values = Shared Success

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UMD student Kristi Mehrman soccer game
During last fall's season, Kristi Mehrman (left) wins a battle for the ball vs. a University of Sioux Falls player.

UMD Women's Soccer Team: Support On and Off the Field

Having the support of peers, as well as faculty and staff, is an important element in being successful as a college student. Involvement in a sport, a club, or an organization can go a long way to helping a student stay on track, remain focused, and accomplish their goals.

A perfect example of support via involvement at UMD shines through with the women’s Varsity soccer team. Defender Kristi Mehrman was the recipient of the 2012-2013 top scholar-athlete award, the E.L. "Duce" Rasmussen Award. Mehrman was a four-year letterwinner who compiled a 3.90 cumulative grade point average while majoring in civil engineering. She graduated in May 2013 and recently joined LHB, an architecture, engineering, and interior design firm in Duluth.

Both her philosophy and support from her teammates and coaches aided in her receiving the Rasmussen Award. “You need to find balance in life in order to enjoy it; you can’t work all the time nor play all the time,” says Mehrman. “I owe credit to a ton of people for how well I’ve done.”

The UMD women’s soccer team also won the Chancellor’s Cup this past year for having the highest overall team GPA among other Varsity sports. These accomplishments prove that Varsity teams, particularly soccer, exceed the university’s goals of upholding a well-balanced life.

One of the many advantages of being a student athlete at UMD is the direct engagement with coaches for help and support of any kind. The coach of women’s soccer at UMD, Greg Cane, emphasized that he doesn’t just recruit athletes; he gets to know them on an academic level and personal level as well. He seeks women who he believes will fit into the niche of UMD's women’s soccer.

“It’s all about the culture created within the team based on shared values,” said Cane. “Once you have this culture established, a cycle of respect is formed amongst players and includes coaches.”

Both Mehrman and fellow teammate Riley Allen spoke highly of their team and of their coaches who were very open and understanding when it came to academics. Allen even admitted she felt more on track with her life during the on-season because she was surrounded by a wonderful group of girls all on the same practice-study-have-fun routine.

Allen spent a lot of time on the field playing and learning from Mehrman, working together as half of the defensive back line. According to Allen and Cane both, Mehrman epitomized the ideal role as a captain on and off the field, one of the reasons she won the Rasmussen Award.

“Kristi is the person you project towards when you look to someone you want to be like both academically and athletically,” said Allen. “She gives it 120% all the time in everything and shows how far one can get in life by always pushing yourself mentally and physically.”

Another benefit to being part of a team is the imperative skills one can learn and apply to the rest of their life, skills they may not attain in the classroom. Mehrman said she learned how to work as a team member and gained the ability to adapt to different types of people. Allen said so far she’s learned dedication, persistence, and how to overcome difficult situations in a group setting.

“Being involved in athletics is a great way to express character to future employers,” said Cane. “Employers want practical experience.”

Whether it is a Varsity sports team or a student organization, being part of one of UMD’s many activities is a fun and healthy way to have a smoother ride through college. The women’s soccer team is rich with the spirit of positive energy and endless support, which is not only reflected in their 2012-2013 achievements, but also their attitudes.

“This is the closest team I’ve ever been on and I really found where I fit,” said Allen. “Everyone is a little bit different, but in the end it all has the same outcome.”

Visit the UMD women's soccer team website.

Rosy Bray and Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, July 2013

UMD students Kristi Mehrman and Cameron Harper
Kristi Mehrman and Cameron Harper, recipients of the E. L. "Duce" Rasmussen Award as UMD's top scholar-athletes in 2012-2013.

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