"I've been playing competitive soccer since I was five or six, and honestly, I didn't think I would play in college. I was just tired of all the team politics," says Lauren Berry '11. "But when I came to visit Earlham and met the players, I realized that soccer would be different here. I've never been on a team this supportive, both on and off the field."
A soccer player throughout her Earlham career, Berry contributed to four consecutive winning seasons. She says that even as the roster changed due to graduations and new arrivals, the team's unity and positive attitude remained the same. As a senior, Berry was a starter on Earlham's first conference championship team in women's soccer history. Berry gives partial credit for the team's success to the rest of campus community.
"When we played our conference tournament games at home, we had a great turnout from students, faculty and staff," she says. "It gave us a huge lift to know we were supported by a large community."
Berry, a Durham, N.C., native who was an All-State competitor for Carolina Friends School, has found Earlham to be a great fit - both on and off the field. As an athlete, she made first team all-conference as a midfielder as a senior. Academically, studying in Mexico for a semester was a particular highlight.
"We studied social movements in Mexico, and I learned so much," Berry recalls. "Studying in another country was absolutely one of the best parts of my Earlham experience."
A Sociology and Anthropology major with a strong interest in Spanish, Berry plans a career as an educator, and expects to attend graduate school. Immediately following graduation, she will begin work with City Year, mentoring and tutoring at-risk students in Chicago.