The University of Colorado's women's soccer team will have nine new faces this year, but for Tennessee transfer Megan Massey, coming home means she will also see some familiar ones.
The sophomore from Highlands Ranch (Mountain Vista High School) is excited to return home, and feels like it is a chance for her to start her soccer career over.
"I feel like at Tennessee I had some injuries and just a bunch of stuff played into it, so just getting back to where I was is a big thing," Massey said. "Just being fit, being ready to go when the season starts, being ready to make an impact from the start."
Massey, who scored the golden goal to win the 2013 5A state championship, talked about her decision to leave Colorado after high school, and how her family and CU head coach Danny Sanchez were part of the reason for her returning home.
Massey will be eligible to compete immediately.
"I just didn't really like Tennessee as much as I thought I was (going to), just like the style of play and everything like that. And then when I came back here, Danny was really on me to come back," Massey said. "And I kind of wanted to stay home, too, because I like having my parents around so I can go back and talk to them if I'm having issues with soccer or anything like that. Because there were times at Tennessee where I just kind of wanted to sit down and talk to them."
Massey, who can play either as a forward or as a midfielder, said that she thinks of herself more as a goal scorer, but is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.
"My main thing is I really just want to make an impact right from the start. Just whatever I can do," Massey said.
"She's a very technical player, a player than can play in the midfield or up top. And I think the thing I liked about her is she's still hungry and she has something to prove," Sanchez said. "She'll come into our team with something to prove individually and team wise, and I think she'll fit in great with our goals."
Chemistry might be a concern with nine new players coming in, but Sanchez said that he thinks the team is in a good position to deal with that obstacle.
"We'll have five freshmen and four transfers," Sanchez said. "The thing I like is I think we have a really good returning group. Not only good players, but good people, and committed to everything we're doing.
"So I think a lot of the onus on the transition will be on the returning players to have a lot of confidence in them and what they bring to the program."
Massey said that she has only met eight of her teammates so far, and that building team chemistry can be a challenge, but in her experience, you get out what you put in.
"If you just kind of keep to yourself no one is going to get to know you. You're not going to get to know them. You're not going to know how they play on the field, stuff like that," Massey said. "The better friends you have and the more relationships you have, the better you will play on the field. It transitions, I think."
The team is still getting to know one another, and until they play a game, there will be some questions, but as Sanchez said, "I think Meg, along with everyone else, just wants to get on the field. So we'll get into preseason, and we'll see how it starts to shake out."
Wyatt Zetterholm: firstname.lastname@example.org