WSU women's soccer team has a bond that spans years

10-3 Girls Soccer V. Northern Colorado (Ariana Berkemeier)  (6 of 10)
Marissa Cook makes a slide tackle on a Northern Colorado player in a match last season. Cook is one of the 12 members of the La Roca soccer team that joined the Wildcats in 2012. (Ariana Berkemeier / The Signpost)

Being a part of the same sports team with the same teammates for four full years could be considered an accomplishment to most. For some members of the Weber State women’s soccer team, they have doubled that amount of playing time together.

In 2012, 13 college freshmen became new members of the Weber State women’s soccer team and of those 13 all but one had previously been on a team together for more than six years.

The 12 players began their soccer-fueled friendships at ages 13 and 14 by playing for the competitive soccer team La Roca. Current WSU junior Jaymee Frye said that the level of camaraderie that the team had after six years together was not something that she wanted to lose.

When it came time to choose a college, some members of the La Roca team were not sure they wanted to play soccer at a collegiate level. After they learned other fellow La Roca members were going to play for Weber State University however, their choices became simpler.

“I chose Weber because I had played with these girls since I was 13,” Frye said. “We were good and I wanted to be with them for the next four years.”

The transition onto the new team was difficult said WSU junior Marissa Cook, because 12 of the 13 freshmen from that year had previous experience playing together and had established a style of playing that was different from the returning WSU team members. The new freshmen could communicate well with each other, but had to learn how to communicate effectively with the rest of the team to play well as a whole.

One thing that seemed to help with the transition of becoming a cohesive team was their coach Tim Crompton. Crompton has held the position of head coach of the WSU Women’s soccer team for the past 11 years after he took over the position in 2004. For players like Cook and Frye, Crompton has also been their coach since they were 14, when he began coaching their La Roca team.

“We knew what he wanted and expected already and we knew how each other played,” Cook said, “so that helped the transition.”

WSU senior Mackenzie Peck said that although she had not played on the same La Roca team as some of her current teammates, she had either played with them a few of them in high school or against most of them on a different competitive soccer team. Those encounters helped familiarize her with some of the other players and created a lasting bond.

“We all practically knew about each other,” said Peck, “Which made it easier to play soccer.”

The teamwork and coaching seemed to pay off in 2013, when the WSU women’s soccer team had an overall record of 10-5-5. The team was able to beat out Portland State and win the Big Sky Conference tournament championship, advancing them to the third NCAA appearance in the program’s history.

Of the 12 original La Roca team members, nine are still on the WSU women’s soccer team. The friendship and chemistry that they brought onto the team has now spread to include not just those nine members, but the entire team.

“I originally wasn’t going to play (soccer) in college,” Cook said. “But now I know this is exactly where I should be.”