To Quit or Not to Quit
by Abi Nicholas
Junior Sarah Straub sits in the library with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, sporting a pair of sweatpants and a practice jersey. With a highlighter in one hand and a coffee in the other, she concentrates on an upper-level history book while four other schoolbooks lie strategically sprawled across the table.
It’s 8:30 in the evening, and Sarah, a C of C women’s soccer player, still hasn’t changed out of her workout clothes from the morning.
“I had to go straight to the training room from class,” Sarah says, shoving her book aside and clasping her hands behind her right knee, lifting her leg onto a chair. After her last class ended at 6 p.m., Sarah stopped by a coffee shop and then headed to the library to study for a quiz. “It’s been a pretty busy day,” she says.
But a day like this is typical for the history, Spanish, political science triple-major student-athlete who’s also a member of the Honors College.
Sarah started playing soccer when she was 4. At that time, though, not enough girls were playing, so Sarah was on an all-boys soccer team. But that didn’t matter to her. While most girls thought boys had cooties and played with dolls, Sarah preferred strapping on her shin guards and suiting up to play with the boys.
Seventeen years later, Sarah still prefers a pair of cleats to a pair of high heels.
“There will be times when we finish practice and all the girls are going to go home and get ready to go out, and Sarah will go back in the training room to do a little more work,” senior captain Caroline Wertis said. “Sarah was always asking me if I would stay a little longer to practice crossing the ball or run sprints.”
“Soccer made me who I am,” Sarah says. “It’s given me friends, a drive to succeed and a love of competition, and I always knew I wanted to play it as long as I could.” So when the Charlotte, N.C. native was offered the chance to play soccer at C of C, she couldn’t refuse.
Since her freshman year in 2004, Sarah has successfully juggled a challenging academic schedule with the intense demands of being a college athlete. After a year and a half of weight lifting in the morning, class in the afternoon, practice in the evening, studying at night and games throughout the week and on the weekends, Sarah didn’t think her schedule could get any more hectic.
Then she got hurt.