Are We That Different?

Written and Media by Taylor Ratcliffe.

This week, I have interviewed three female soccer players, all at different stages of their career. I have asked them similar questions in order to see if people start soccer-based on the same reasons. Then I also questioned them to see if they continued playing for similar or differing reasons. The big question is, are we, as athletes, that different?

Morgan (right) after breaking her hand during practice. Photo by: Morgan Purkey

Interview with Morgan Purkey (My younger sister) – Position: Keeper, Age: 17, Year: Junior at Noblesville High School:

Q: Why do you enjoy playing soccer?

A: I enjoy playing soccer because I enjoy the competition behind it. I enjoy trying to beat other players to the ball and seeing how hard I can hit them. I also enjoy having fun with my teammates.

Q: Why and when did you start playing soccer?

A: I started playing soccer at the age of four. The reason I started playing then [was] because that was the year you and Noelle started playing.

Q: Do you plan on playing college ball? If so, why?

A: I do plan on playing college soccer. I want to play soccer in college because I love the sport and I want to get better as I get older.


Hope getting ready to practice. Photo by: Lauren Cleope

Interview with Hope Brakenhoff, player at Greenville College – Position: Keeper, Age: 20, Year: Junior in college:

Q: When and why did you start playing soccer?

A: I started playing in kindergarten. I started playing because I just loved sports and I wanted to try every sport that was available to me.

Q: Why is it you chose to play soccer in college over other sports?

A: I had given up all other sports by the time I was a senior in high school. I chose soccer over the others because I really enjoyed playing it. I loved playing with my sister and I loved the challenge of being a goalie. My experience as a goalie couldn’t compare to any other sports I played because being a goalie challenged me in a way that I had never been challenged before. I loved knowing I was the last person who could stop a goal from happening.

Q: What do you enjoy most about playing soccer in college?

A: College has taught me a lot about the sport that I never knew before. It challenged me as a student athlete in ways I couldn’t imagine. I really love the team also. I have met some of my closest friends through playing soccer and I can’t imagine not having met the girls on the team. They have become my sisters. College soccer also made me into a player that I never knew I could be. It took me to a new level that I didn’t realize I had the potential to play at.


Rebecca getting ready to take a header. Photo by: Lourdes Machado

Interview with Rebecca Munshaw, former player at Greenville College – Position: Defense, Age: 22, Year: Senior in college

Q: When and why did you start playing soccer?

A: Well, I started when I was four! My parents put me in it I believe. And growing up in Canada, I played on indoor and outdoor leagues. It was a year round sport for me. In high school, when we moved to Greenville, I chose to play soccer at school as well as club soccer. I would even play on a 7v7 league in the summer. For college, I decided I loved soccer enough to make it worth the work and I stuck out my last four years. I never once regretted any of the time I dedicated to the sport. I created a lot of relationships and it helped me hone in on my calling which is loving people.

Q: Now that your career in college soccer is over with, what will you do to fill that need/desire in your life?

A: Actually I’m glad you’ve asked that! I have decided to run a marathon this upcoming fall and have begun the training for it. I also do yoga every day which I found that I love!

From these answers, we can conclude that kids tend to start soccer at young ages, however, they continue playing for various reasons. They played/play/or want to play college ball because they want to learn something. So the answer as to whether athletes are actually that different is no; the love of soccer is universal and can be shared among anyone of varying age groups.


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