Falwell leaves behind notable soccer career
When senior Jillian Falwell caught herself arranging her plans for next year around her soccer season, it finally hit her that her life had changed now that her career as a collegiate athlete had ended. "My cousin is getting married next fall, and my initial reaction was that I wasn't going to be able to make the wedding," said Falwell. "Out of instinct, I assumed I had a soccer game. It took a while for reality to hit me-I'm done."
It is easy to understand Falwell's disbelief. Her illustrious soccer career began 18 years ago, when Falwell joined her hometown's (Arlington, Massachusetts) soccer team at age four. "First I played for an in-town six-on-six program in Arlington; then my soccer commitments began to pile up. In middle school, I joined a club team called Spirit, as well as an Olympic Development Program."
Falwell excelled on each of these teams, and by the time she played four years for Arlington High School's Varsity soccer team, she accumulated an enormous number of honors. Not lacking bragging rights during her four years in high school, Falwell was a captain, a DCL League MVP for two years, an All-Scholastic recipient for four years, a Greater Boston League all-star and champion for four years, a state champion for three years, in addition to the small fact that she still holds Arlington High School's all-time scoring record.
Like a true legend, Falwell is four years out and still her record remains untouched. "I was definitely a big fish in a little pond in high school, which was nice, but it also made me really excited to come to Bowdoin and challenge myself."
Falwell certainly found a challenge here at Bowdoin, but that did not stop her from excelling in her usual manner. "I loved the high level of competition," Falwell explained. "It really drove me to work hard."
Continuing on her streak of high recognition, Falwell accumulated numerous awards, including NESCAC First Team All Star, NESCAC Player of the Week, and the Polar Bears' leading scorer for three years, among others.
Falwell faltered when trying to remember the rest of her awards, one of which is not easily overlooked: she is Bowdoin's third all-time leading scorer, and fourth all-time leading points holder.
Despite this laundry list of honors, however, Falwell credits her Bowdoin soccer career for adding more to her life off the field than on. "My favorite part about playing soccer at Bowdoin was meeting people with whom I wouldn't normally have contact with outside of the program. I made some very valuable friends, and I have our team relations to thank for that."
After she graduates, Falwell hopes to get a job in the field of psychology, which is her major here at Bowdoin. She also hopes to play in women's soccer leagues. "I love the sport, and can't picture my life without it," she said. If soccer itself could talk, I think it would say the same thing about Falwell.
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