By: Gabby Maulucci
The seemingly never-ending pressures of being an athlete are what Springfield College women’s soccer team captain Lauren Muser considers all part of the job. Potential career-ending injuries, lack of acknowledgment from a former coach, and the huge shove onto a high pedestal are the things that Muser thrives off of.
These obstacles serve as fuel for Muser’s inspirational athletic career.
This Derry, N.H. native has appeared on the soccer field as a left defensive back her entire life. She learned the game and harnessed her skills through that position, so she was thrown for a loop whenSpringfield head coach John Gibson asked her to play midfield during her first season here at Springfield.
Despite her lack of experience at that position, Muser welcomed the challenge with open arms.
“She gets forward really well and when she catches the ball, it flies. Lauren knows the game and always wants to achieve,” explained Gibson. “We knew she could do it.”
Muser transferred to Springfield College from the University of Hartford just last year as a junior. With a new school, new teammates and a new coach, she was starting a whole new chapter of her life.
“I came in not knowing anyone. I had to adjust to new personalities while simultaneously trying not to step on anyone’s toes,” said Muser.
As a Division I transfer, Muser felt this overwhelming pressure to preform and to meet the high standards that her future teammates could potentially hold her to. However, Muser hardly ever saw the field at Hartford, due to a high school injury: tearing both her meniscus and ACL.
“My coach at my old school wasn’t giving me a fair chance to prove myself,” Muser said.
She desperately wanted some playing time. After deciding that she wanted to transfer, she set up a meeting with Gibson.
“I’m not going to lie, he is the reason why I am here at Springfield. He’s the best,” Muser explained.
Muser made such a positive influence on her teammates in just one year as a Springfield College student-athlete that the team rewarded her with the captain title.
“Lauren might be the most unique person I know. She obviously stands out to the people around her because she transfered here her junior year and made a huge impact, all the way to being captain after just one year with us,” said fellow captain Sara Dalton. “She is so lighthearted and carefree, but knows how to turn it on, get down to business and push the expectations from everyone, including herself, higher and higher.”
Muser, Dalton and Vicky DiNatale have been appointed by their teammates to come together as one cohesive captain unit.
The team has made it to the NCAA Championships five times in the past six years, and the Pride are dedicated to getting there again this year.
“We expect a lot out of our players, so we push them hard. They are a very talented group of young women,” praised Gibson.
The trio of captains for Springfield is unstoppable and they are able to lead the team so professionally due to their unbreakable bond they have formed together.
“Sara and I are very close, and it is nice to have someone to vent to. We have both torn our ACLs, so it helps to be able to relate to each other,” Muser explained.
Muser also takes on a leadership role off the soccer field.
The senior serves as Vice President of the Student Athlete Advisory Board here on campus.
“My position on the Student Athlete Advisory Board gives me more experience in leading a big group, and it also helps our team get more involved,” commented Muser.
Emphasizing how important it is to be involved both on and off the field, Muser’s leadership outlets have truly helped her learn, grow and excel as a captain, which can only help push her team harder and more effectively to ensure their overall success.