Junior defender Rachel Walsh is an essential part of the Geneseo women’s soccer team. Walsh contributes to defensive success on the field, while also devoting her time to helping the community as a member of Geneseo First Response.
Originally from Niskayuna, N.Y.—located near Albany—Walsh has made Geneseo her second home. She first began playing soccer around the age of five.
“I think at that age, everyone plays soccer, but I really fell in love with it and I kept playing,” Walsh said.
She began playing travel soccer at eight and continued to play with that team throughout high school. From there, she was recruited for the collegiate level.
“Geneseo was by far the best academic school,” Walsh said. “And since we’re really here for academics, not athletics, I wanted to go to a really good school.”
She cited how well Geneseo ranked among the SUNY schools as a major factor in her decision to come here.
Walsh visited the school three times and was swayed by the beauty of the campus and the feeling of a close-knit community.
“Every time I visited I loved the school more and more,” Walsh said.
The sense of a team community is very important to Walsh and she understands the value of team bonding. Walsh’s fellow players really helped her adjust to college life during her freshman year.
“I think coming in as a freshman everyone is very scared,” she said. “But since I got to show up early for preseason, the team was so kind.”
Walsh remembers the team taking her under their wing, and now as an upperclassman, she works to do the same for the younger teammates. The team does a very good job integrating the players into the collegiate athletic culture, Walsh said.
“The team made me so much more confident,” she said.
For Walsh, soccer is and always has been a great stress reliever.
“I have so much schoolwork going on, especially as a junior with upper level classes, so soccer takes the stress away,” she said.
Walsh loves spending two or three hours a day playing soccer to take a break from academics. The team is very close, for which Walshis grateful. They spend so much time together that they cultivate close friendships, helping the women play better and giving the players a nice group to be a part of.
Aside from soccer, Walsh is part of another important community on-campus—GFR. Last semester, she devoted a large amount of her time to becoming a GFR attendant. This included taking an EMT class three nights a week.
Walsh is a biology major and plans to become a physician’s assistant in the future, so working with GFR helps her to prepare for this.
“It helps give me experience in the medical field and I get to see a lot of different scenarios,” she said.
She is no stranger to responsibility—when GFR attendants are on call, they must respond to any 911 calls.
“The people are also amazing,” Walsh said. “They try to hold events so we get to know each other better. It’s just like being on a sports team.”
Walsh’s commitment to the Geneseo community is evident in her dedication to both soccer and GFR—she works to improve both of these areas.u