Becca Rasmussen can't bring herself to complain about the playing time she received at the University of Georgia. And she certainly enjoyed a reasonable level of success during her three seasons with the Bulldogs.
For Rasmussen, though, that feeling of homesickness typical of college freshmen never completely dimmed over the years. That's why Rasumussen finally was motivated to last winter to do something about re-writing the final chapter of her collegiate soccer career.
As the Colorado women's soccer team endured its first official workouts for the 2017 season on Wednesday, Rasmussen was one of several key newcomers expected to bolster an already formidable Buffaloes lineup. Recruited heavily by head coach Danny Sanchez out of Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton, Rasmussen very nearly joined the Buffs after a standout club career with the Colorado Rush.
Consider her arrival for the second semester and spring workouts earlier this year a delayed fulfillment of a lifelong dream. When Rasmussen opted to leave Georgia last winter she immediately contacted Sanchez and said she had no Plan B in mind beyond CU.
"I think it's going to be special to be able to play in front of my family and have that support system again," Rasmussen said. "It seems like we're going to have a pretty good team, with a lot of freshmen and a lot of transfers coming in, and I'm really excited to be a part of it.
"I was always battling a little bit coming back home all four years. It wasn't quite running smoothly. I love the (Georgia) team and I love the girls. I think my heart was just always wanting to go home. I really just want one good season for my last year."
Rasmussen appeared in 52 games, including 33 starts, over three seasons with Georgia, collecting two goals and four assists as a midfielder. Sanchez, set to begin his sixth season as the leader of the Buffs, described the 5-foot-4 Rasmussen's speed on the ball as "probably the best we've had here," and she could be a candidate to fill a role in the midfield or at one of the two open forward positions.
"She's a player we recruited really hard right when I got the job, and to be honest we were disappointed when we didn't get her," Sanchez said. "I think at the time we were still building the program back up, so that probably dinged us a little bit. But obviously we're very excited she decided to come back and be a Buff. She had a good spring and we'll put a lot on her this year because it's her last go-around. I don't think she's had her best season yet. She did very well at Georgia, but I think her style of play really fits the Pac-12. We hope she makes an impact whether it's in the midfield or up top."
The Buffs added another Colorado native this week by signing Tatum Barton, a sophomore from Columbine High School who spent one season at Texas Tech.
Barton enjoyed a decorated career at Columbine, amassing 73 goals and 12 assists over four varsity seasons. She helped lead the Rebels to the 2014 Class 5A state championship, recording a goal and an assist in the title game victory against Ralston Valley. A sophomore forward, Barton appeared in 18 games (nine starts) with Texas Tech last year but didn't register a point.
"She played for Real Colorado on a very good club team and was a big-time scorer at Columbine," Sanchez said. "With us losing Emily Bruder and Danica (Evans) up top, she reached out to us and she fits a need for us. She has a history of scoring goals. She was a little unlucky at Texas Tech not to have a little bit more to show for her work, but I think she'll be another good option for us up top."