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Q&A with Rachael Goulding

Sept. 15, 2008

Rachael Goulding took a few minutes away from her busy training schedule in Chile to answer a few questions about playing internationally for her native Canada as it prepares for the 2008 U-20 World Cup in November.

How does it feel to be representing your country internationally?
It is an unexplainable honour to represent my country internationally, playing the sport I am so passionate about. There is a great sense of pride, and I feel extremely fortunate to be one of few women who get this opportunity. I understand that nothing is promised and never to take any moment of this experience for granted. Representing Canada and being in this type of environment is truly inspiring, because everyone is self motivated, driven and dedicated to winning and playing for their country.

Describe the process of getting to this point.
I took the summer off from playing soccer, just to regain that passion and drive to play again after a long season. I think it is important for every player to take a break now and again. I worked 80 hours a week at four different jobs and realized that without playing soccer, I wasn't the same person. I began looking further into my soccer options with the aid of many helpful trainers and coaches. Within a month, I was off to Vancouver for a week for a national tryout. I was successful and was asked to partake in the trip to Chile Sept. 10-22nd.

However, I was registered in classes at Ohio and had already played in some games. I had to fly back early to Ohio from the tryout and figure out those dilemmas and organize an on-line class schedule that would work for the quarter while living in the residency in Vancouver. I got approved of my redshirt, and here I am in Santiago, Chile!

What are the next steps in this process?
The team will take part in a four Nations tournament September 10 through 22nd in Chile. This will help us get use to the surroundings, food, flights etc. for the return in November for the World Cup. We will then stay in residency in Vancouver, Canada September through November while on an intense training schedule. If all goes well the plan is to go to the World Cup November through December.

What does this mean to you for also representing Ohio University and Ohio Soccer internationally?
I am now a junior at Ohio, and I can say Ohio University truly has grown on me. As a freshman, I use to represent Toronto as my home, my friends and family. Now, I can honestly say when I miss my home, my apartment, friends, teammates and family, I mean in Athens. I guess as I got older I learned to appreciate the differences between city life and a smaller town, and I enjoy being able to have the best of both worlds. I think I am the lucky one to be able to represent Ohio University and the soccer program on an international level, because I am so proud of who we are and what we are all about.

How have your family, friends, coaches, teammates and others been through this process?
Wow. This answer is without a doubt one of the hardest to put into words. I have received an unlimited amount of support from e-mails to cards, letters, phone calls, the works. From rides to and from airports at the last minute, to all the academic support and work from compliance, this process has been so last minute and spontaneous that I have figured out who is willing to be there for me through thick and thin. Considering the circumstances, everyone, especially my family, coaches and teammates, have been so supportive, patient and have bent over backwards to make this opportunity a reality for me. I couldn't ask for more, and I am so appreciative for all the support.

What advice or words do you have for your teammates as they head into the season more?
My teammates know how I am, and so I think they'll laugh when they see this question because they all know what I'd say. They know I am with them every step of the way this season. Even when I'm gone, I'm always checking up on them and thinking of each one of them. I have full confidence in everyone, and I know individuals will step up to necessary roles. There is so much talent on that team, and it is being led by a great coaching staff.

Words for Ohio Soccer fans?
I would advise fans to keep supporting Ohio Soccer, because it is vital to a good season and in getting the results. There is nothing better than a big crowd cheering you on in the final minutes of a game. Make sure to check out the schedule, and get out to some games!