Fall sports are coming to a close and for senior athletes this moment is bittersweet. For most, this is their last time playing the sport that they have dedicated a good portion of not just their collegiate careers, but their lives to.
“Soccer has been the center of my whole experience at Cal Lutheran,” senior center back Mallory Carcich said. “Everything that I’ve done revolves around soccer.”
The Regals soccer and volleyball teams both had successful seasons this year, ending its respective runs in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship games.
“I wanted to end this season with no regrets,” senior right side hitter Pua Mo’okini-Oliveira said. “Volleyball has been at the base of my time at Cal Lutheran so going into my last year I wanted to make sure I ended on a good note.”
Kingsmen football had a tougher season with their last game taking place Nov. 14 against the first place University of La Verne.
“With this being my last year I really wanted us to win a conference title because it was something we hadn’t done since my freshman year,” senior tight end Alix Moise Jr. said. “It didn’t go as planned, but overall we did our best and I’ve had a good time being a part of this team.”
Moise, Carcich and Mo’okini-Oliveira have had major impacts on their teams over the years. Mo’okini-Oliveira is fourth on the Regals volleyball team with 184 kills and 44 total blocks. Carcich is one of the top defenders for Regals soccer and Moise finished the 2015 Kingsmen football season with 23 catches for 258 yards and one touchdown.
“Throughout the years I’ve learned more and more of what it means to be a Regal,” Carcich said. “And looking back from freshman year until now I’ve seen the team change a lot, but the common goal of representing as a Regal stayed intact.”
Carcich, Mo’okini-Oliveira and Moise come from different sport arenas but share similar experiences in being a part of a team. They all share that common bond that comes with being a Cal Lutheran student as well as being a Kingsmen or Regal.
“This is an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Moise said. “It wasn’t easy balancing everything as a student and an athlete but I learned so much and met a lot of great people so I am happy that I stuck with it for all four years.”
Each athlete began their collegiate athletic careers as freshman and have played and grown with their teams for four years.
“We’ve become like a family,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said. “Coming in as a freshman you don’t know anyone and volleyball season starts in the fall of each year, so coming in I had a solid group of 16 girls that I could be friends with right away.”
Playing on a team creates a different experience than just being in a class with people of the same major. The setting is more relaxed and gives a chance for personality to take the forefront.
“As big a football team as we are, there are a whole bunch of different personalities out there, so getting to be around all the guys for this long you get to know a lot about them,” Moise said. “I’m going to miss that the most, playing around and goofing off with the team.”
Strong friendships have been made and the reality of continuing on in life without their teams has begun to set in.
“Ninety-nine percent of the friends I have are because of soccer,” Carcich said. “Now that our season is over, I’m realizing how much I will miss playing with those girls. I’ve grown to care about the team a lot.”
Mo’okini-Oliveira, Moise and Carcich all agree that they will miss the camaraderie that comes with being a part of a team.
“I’ll miss the girls the most,” Mo’okini-Oliveira said. “We’ve played for so long and it has been fun, and I’ve had a great time with all of them.”
Published November 18th, 2015