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Going for Goals

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trinity women’s soccer players agree: teamwork is an essential element in leadership

by Jeanna Goodrich Balreira '08

Nineteen minutes into the NCAA Division III Semifinal, senior forward Michelle Lanier was swarmed by her teammates after netting the Tigers’ first goal of the game. The goal would put the Tigers on track to reach the NCAA Final for the first time in school history, but Lanier didn’t do it by herself. Emily Jorgens, later named to D3soccer.com’s Women’s All-America team, assisted on the play, securing her 30th assist of the season to tie the NCAA Division III single season record.

They both agree: it couldn’t have been done without teamwork. “To me, teamwork means working together to achieve something that would be impossible as an individual,” Lanier says. “One of the most important pieces of teamwork in my eyes is each member's equal and integral role in achieving something great.”

“The team relies on individual creativity, work ethic, and perseverance to succeed as a cohesive unit,” Jorgens adds. “Teammates inspire one another and push each other to exceed expectations.”

These two teammates aren’t just exceeding expectations on the field--they’ve developed as leaders and learners in the classroom as well. “I was fortunate enough to be named a captain this past year,” Jorgens says, “which has really strengthened my leadership skills. I have learned how to motivate, communicate, and inspire others more effectively.”

And Lanier agrees. “Teamwork taught me to lead by example. Most of the time, our actions are what others emulate,” she says. “In order to lead a successful team you must act as a successful team member yourself.”

Success on the team has had a huge impact on their development as leaders--and both agree that it will continue to do so in the future. While Jorgens is pursuing an internship with a Big Four accounting firm-- “I am confident that my leadership and collaboration skills and experiences will help me to be successful on a business team,” she notes--Lanier is applying to medical schools for a career as a physician, where she says that teamwork is vital.

“The ability to work with others and the refined interpersonal skills that I've gained through my time with Trinity Women’s Soccer will be an invaluable asset to my career as a physician. Successful healthcare is a team effort,” Lanier says. “I believe being a part of a successful team for the past four years in a demanding setting, both academically and athletically, will prove to be one of the most important and useful experiences of my life.”

Jeanna Goodrich Balreira is the associate director of creative communication in university marketing communications and a 2008 Trinity graduate. You can reach her at jgoodri1 [at] trinity.edu.