Player Journals - A Look Inside the Collegiate Game

Read first firsthand from goalkeepers sharing their insight on the in's and out's of being a collegiate athlete.

Bobby Edwards - Junior, Monmouth

Erin Scott - Junior, Campbell

Noah Heim - Sophmore, Marquette

 

Player Journal: Erin Scott - September 2017

Erin Scott enters her junior year at Campbell University, after transferring out from Creighton last semester. Click here to read about Erin's transfer process or read up on other goalkeepers in the college game.

Goalkeepers are typically looked at as a leader of a team, whether it’s with the captain’s armband or being the one who organizes the team out of the back. How are you handling transferring to a new team but also leading your team as a goalkeeper?

I can honestly say transferring to Campbell was the best thing that could have happened to me. Right when I got here for preseason, everything truly felt right. Things starting clicking on and off the field and everything just felt extremely right, which I am very grateful for because that is not always the case for transfer situations. This is a really special group of girls; they are truly some of my best friends already. It makes it so much easier to be successful on the field together, when we get along as well as we do off of the field. There is a great level of competition at training as well. We truly have our sights set on our end goal and we are doing everything we can to make sure we come out to practice each day and get better.

I think that whenever you come into a new program you must prove yourself first and gain the trust and respect of your teammates. Of course, there is always room for improvement but I have been doing everything I can in training to get better, and with that I make those around me better. It was hard to me to relax and get rid of the initial nerves at first but once I settled down and became comfortable with the team I was finally able to gain that confidence I needed and play to the level that I am capable of. One of the biggest roles a goalkeeper has on the field is communication. So regardless I think being vocal out of the back naturally gives a goalkeeper leadership-filled position.

 

What’s the goal for this fall to be able to look back and say this was a successful season?

We have set very high standards for ourselves in training and in games and having these high standards will make it second nature to push ourselves to reach our goals. We are really taking it one week at a time and focusing on the short-term goal, which is winning games. I think we have had a great mentality going into games, we truly play every game as if it were a championship game, so when we are called to play in an important game like that we will be more than ready.

It is awesome to see this team develop, more specifically our freshmen have been playing great this year. Certain freshman are truly making a big impact on the game which is inspiring. We are currently 3-2 and have only allowed two goals in those five games which is great. We are working hard to make sure things stay going in that direction and keeping balls out of the back of our net. On the flip side, we have scored fourteen goals in those five games, which is also amazing. It is really great to see our forwards and midfielders have the success they have been having. With these statistics and seeing the way we have been playing lately, the opportunities are truly endless for us. There is so much potential within us and I can’t wait to see what we are capable of.

 

What’s something off the field that you’ve enjoyed about Campbell University?

Campbell is truly a special place. It really is an extremely close community. After every single home game, we always have a tailgate afterwards put on by families that live close enough. Everyone always pitches in in some way to make sure we have food after the games. It really allows our families to spend time together off the field and for us as teammates to get to know one another’s families. It is awesome to see faculty and staff members at our games cheering us on. Our athletic staff at Campbell is seriously the best, whether it be our strength and condition coach driving to our away games to warm us up or our athletic director taking time out of his day to come out to one of our training sessions. Everyone truly cares about us and wants to see us succeed.

Player Journal: Bobby Edwards - March 2017

After taking a medical redshirt with Saint Joseph's last year, you've transferred to Monmouth University. A transfer process typically dates back some time so walk us through the timeline of transferring to Monmouth.

Our season at Saint Joseph’s came to a disappointing close - we failed to make the playoffs after a 3-0 start in conference. Typically, in the A-10 conference, winning 4 of 8 conference games is a guaranteed playoff spot berth, so to go from 3-0 to 3-5 and fail to make playoffs was crushing for everyone. Things just went wrong and went wrong fast - we were never able to figure them out in time to save the season. This is especially difficult to watch from the bench because, as much as you can help cultivate a positive team environment, you can’t truly help produce on the field.

Once the season came to a close, I had time to reflect on where I was in my life and who I wanted to become both on and off the field. It felt as though my life was stagnant -- that I wasn’t progressing in my soccer career and that the school itself wasn’t a good fit for me. I came to a point where I felt a change was necessary not just to progress on the field but to be happier as a person.

 Eric Klenofsky (left) with Bobby Edwards

Eric Klenofsky (left) with Bobby Edwards

My roots are in the culture of North Jersey, and I wanted to come back home. So once I got my release from SJU, I began looking around at New Jersey based schools. I spoke with a few schools, but once I took my visit to Monmouth I knew this is where I needed to be. I already knew several of the guys from playing with them throughout my youth career, which made my transition much easier. The coaching staff are great. Each of them are dedicated to this program and their passion for winning is something I share. One of my best friends is recent Monmouth goalkeeper standout Eric Klenofsky, who I owe a lot to both on the field and off. He’s been a great friend and mentor for me, so getting the opportunity to follow in his footsteps is amazing. Everyone here at Monmouth has been unbelievably welcoming to me, making me feel more at home than I could ever have imagined. I feel as though I have found a place where I can truly enjoy the rest of my college career both athletically and academically.

But what I will say on the topic of transferring is this: it’s scary. You’re giving up everything that’s familiar for something altogether unknown. You’re leaving a comfort zone and pushing yourself to enter a new environment where there’s no certainty about what’s going to happen. It’s a nerve-wracking gamble. Either it’s the right move or it’s the wrong move, and if it turns out to be the wrong move, there’s no taking it back.

For me, it came down to not wanting to be haunted later in life by “what could have been.” When the day comes to hang up my cleats, I want to know that I did everything I possibly could have to chase my dream. 

 

I think there's a perception that a player only leaves a school if they hate every aspect of that school, which doesn't seem to be your case. What stands out about your time at SJU?

Transferring was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make so far in my life – a choice that actually kept me up at night. Over the course of two and a half years at Saint Joe’s I created friendships that I will have for the rest of my life. It was difficult to leave my teammates, because when you are on a team, your teammates become like a second family. It hurt me leaving the family and I know it probably hurt them. But I left them on the best terms possible, and they all seemed to understand that this was a choice I needed to make.

One of the biggest things that stands out to me from SJU is a funny story about my roommate, teammate and best friend Tom Santilli. Tom is from Connecticut (otherwise known as the countryside), where last summer he purchased two baby ducklings from a farm around his house. On August 11th, we report for preseason and move into our Philadelphia house, where I’m greeted by Tom and his two ducklings. In between our three sessions a day, Tom and I would go back to the house where we would take care of these two little ducklings, all preseason long. So, there I was, part-time goalkeeper, part-time step-father to a pair of ducklings.

 

Last we heard, you were rehabbing your foot. What's the status there and how has the detour affected your mental approach to the game, if at all?

I am (knock on wood) back to full health with my foot. As a preventative measure, I continue to take special precautions and treatments such as wearing special footwear inserts, using a bone stimulator, and taking calcium supplements, etc. The big challenge now is the mental one, of feeling confident that my foot will support me, and with each passing day of practice this confidence increases. I’ve been beyond blessed to have my athletic trainer at Monmouth, Aaron Bottinick. He’s always there for me, providing support and treatment and going the extra mile to make sure I stay healthy.

The biggest takeaway I’ve gotten from these injuries is that each day I take the field, I’ve been given a blessing. To truly appreciate something, sometimes you’ve got to spend some time apart from it. Being forced to sit on the sideline and watch others play the sport I love - although awful in the moment - gave me a deeper sense of appreciation for the game.

Player Journal: Erin Scott - March 2017

Last week you committed to Campbell University so you have a lot to catch us up on. Walk us through the steps that led you to Campbell.

Well I am very fortunate to know the people that I do because the opportunity I had with Campbell was possible because of some people that have seen me play and basically put in a good word. There was a lot of thought that went into my decision but ultimately, when I got on campus at Campbell there was a culture within their team that was truly top notch. When I took my official visit, the entire time I could see myself at Campbell in the fall. Spending time with the team was a blast and I felt like I fit in right away. The entire coaching staff at Campbell are so invested and truly committed to what they are doing and have an end goal and I knew I wanted to be a part of what they were trying to accomplish.

To be completely honest, I left Campbell knowing I wanted to be there in the fall. Of course I had other amazing schools and offers to consider, but the feeling Campbell gave me makes me so excited for the first day of preseason.

 

Is there any advice you’d give to a player thinking about transferring?

Everyone always thinks of transferring as a terrible process but I have been very lucky and it truly has not been hard for me at all. I actually knew I wanted to transfer back at the end of the fall semester and I had asked for my release then, planning on transferring at the end of the fall semester. When I realized my intended timeline wasn’t going to line up, I had a conversation with my coach asking if he would allow me to train with the team in the spring since I was still going to be there. He was supportive of me and my decision and allowed me to continue to work out with the team.

I approached the entire situation in a very respectful manner and I am very glad I did because I realize that the respect is truly mutual. My teammates were completely supportive of my decision as well and have not treated me any differently in the spring while I have been training with them, knowing I am transferring. I have a leadership role on the team now and that also has not necessarily changed much. The entire process of transferring is not as bad as it is perceived to be. Approaching the situation with respect and transparency is definitely the best way to go. Just being honest with your coaches, and hopefully they will support you and want you to be successful wherever you go.

 

I think there’s a perception that a player only leaves a school if they hate every aspect of that school, which doesn’t seem to be your case. So how do you look back on your time at Creighton? 

That is definitely not the case for me, in fact, one of the reasons I chose Campbell was the similarities it has with Creighton. The one thing I love the most about Creighton, and Campbell for that matter, is the community aspect of the school. I will look back on my two years at Creighton and be very grateful for them and truly cherish the friendships and experiences that I have had. I am incredibly grateful for my teammates now because,  although everyone knows I will be transferring, I am not treated any differently on or off the field. Some of my teammates now will truly be friends for life and I have them to thank for so much.

My coaches have also had a bigger impact on me than they know. I cannot possible begin to thank everything my assistant coach, Stephanie Rigamat, has done for me. She has shaped me into the player I am in many ways. My goalkeeper coach, Luke Baxter, has also been vital in where I am today on and off the field. He has developed me and made me a better player and makes coming to early morning practices worth it. It is truly inspirational to have coaches that love what they do so much. Although my time at Creighton is wrapping up, I am ecstatic for the future and whatever it entails. I can’t even express how excited I am to get to Campbell and start this next chapter of my life.