Nov. 10, 2014

Brandon Applehans
bappleha@uccs.edu

Sophomore Michaela Mansfield led the women’s soccer team in goals this season, meaning she gathered a lot of attention with her offensive mentality.

But she did not originally gather attention for her soccer skills.

At first, Mansfield was recruited to UCCS for one purpose: to run track. And with one phone call to the women’s soccer coach, she committed.

Her freshmen year was anything but dull.

“My freshmen year I had track five days a week from 7 to 9 in the morning,” she said. “Then I would have soccer practice from 11 to 1. This included twohour soccer practices, lifting sessions and individuals. You could say I was burnt out.”

Mansfield knew she wanted to play college soccer, despite her track skill.

“Throughout high school I pretty much dominated the conference,” she said. “I always knew I was going to play soccer in college, just had to see where. There was no way I wasn’t going to play.”

Though the talent came naturally for Mansfield, there was an x-factor that made her take up the game.

“My mom was my coach,” she said. “I think every little kid plays soccer and then they realize if they want to continue. I was always good at soccer so the success just kept pulling me in.” The sport means a great deal to Mansfield.

“For me, it’s something that I can be proud of. Being the kind of player I am, and the hard work ethic I have, it really gives me an outlet and helps me focus on something. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed,” she said.

With the team missing the playoffs, this is when the outdoor activities begin for Mansfield.

“Lately I’ve been catching up on all the sleep I’ve missed through soccer,” she said. “Outside of soccer I like to go hiking. There are good places around here but I enjoy Estes Park. Honestly I just like to get outside.”

Mansfield, a sport management major, is working with the new semiprofessional soccer team, the Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club, known as Switchbacks FC. She is looking to remain a piece of the program as it becomes more popular.

Next season the team will have a core group of multiple juniors and close to ten sophomores, and Mansfield sees the importance of the off-season.

“The spring is the time to get better and to personally train individually,” said Mansfield. “So hopefully they will be able to get their confidence there. We have great players they just need confidence.”