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Defensive duo goes from soccer field to track
By Ross Weener

It is no secret that the first year of college is tough. Add to the mix the fact that you are nearly 1,900 miles from home and trying to balance school and playing two sports. First-year students Linnea Butler and Kristen Carlson have developed a close friendship while experiencing the rigors of first-year college life as student athletes.

Hailing from the west coast both individuals have experienced a winning tradition in playing soccer.

"During my years at Santa Fe Christian School, we always had excellent soccer seasons," said Carlson, a native of Encinitas, Calif. "But since the state of California does not have a soccer tournament we were never able to test our skills against some of the other great teams."

A native of Olympia, Wash., Butler's experience was similar. "Every year that I played varsity our team always made it to district finals. We always had strong defensive teams."

Under first-year coach Mark Recker, Carlson and Butler were part of a Knight soccer team that finished 15-5 overall and 11-3 and in the league, earning them sole possession of second place in the MIAA. Carlson appeared and started in all 20 games for Calvin on defense while Butler also performed in a defensive role, appearing in 16 games. Both women point to the guidance of Recker as a catalyst for the success they have garnered.

"I have played under many different coaches in high school, but never before have I had a coach who cares so much about our whole being," said Butler. "He makes sure we care about soccer, but he encourages us to keep our relationship with God, and our relationship with our family in front of soccer."

"As a coach he stresses the process and not the result," added Carlson. "He says if we perfect the process then we will not have to worry about the result."

Soccer is not the only sport that fills their time these days. Butler will take part in middle distance events like the 400 and 800 meter runs, while Carlson will try her hand at the heptathlon. Although both girls knew they would run track when they came to Calvin, neither knew that the other would until after soccer season.

"I didn't know that Linnea was going to run track until after soccer season was over," said Carlson. "(Track) Coach Kim told me to come to his office and when I got there Linnea was sitting there too. I was so surprised!"

For Butler it was also a pleasant surprise. "It was really weird how neither of us knew that the other was going to run track. I mean you practice together everyday, you would think that something like that would come up. But since then we have started lifting weights and training for track together.

As for their friendship Linnea states it is only getting closer. "We are both first year college students and far from home. It is very nice to have somebody that is going through the same things that you are."

Calvin athletics are not only good for producing great athletes, but also for producing great friendships, like that of Kristen and Linnea.

Women's Soccer

New Coach
Mark Recker joined Calvin's coaching staff in summer 2001

Team Leaders
Onderlinde and Dyk propell Knights


MIAA Soccer

 

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