Any coach in any sport probably believes there’s no rest for the wicked. There’s no doubt University of Montana assistant soccer coach Lauren Robertson is learning that this summer.
While most fall sports coaches are holding camps and preparing for next season, Robertson was able to be granted a summer hiatus from the Griz soccer porgram to continue her playing career as goalkeeper for the Colorado Rapids women’s team of the United Soccer League.
Playing for the Rapids gives Robertson a chance to compete against the best of the best, which is an opportunity few players receive.
Robertson recently talked with the Missoulian about her time in Missoula and her career as a player.
Q. How would you assess the Rapids’ season thus far?
A. Up to this point I think we’ve had a great season. We’ve had our highs and our lows as does any team, but I feel I have made some positive steps as a player being in one of the toughest conferences in the (USL).
Q. You’re currently ranked second among goalkeepers in the USL in shutouts and fourth in saves. Is there anything you want to improve on?
A. I just need to keep working hard and getting shutouts for my team. I have a great defense in front of me, so that helps me out a lot. I just need to focus and not allow any more goals for the rest of the season.
Q. You had a very successful career at Ohio State. What is your favorite memory as a Buckeye?
A. That’s hard to say because there are so many.
My junior year I tore some cartilage in my ankle against Michigan, which is of course devastating as a Buckeye, and I was supposed to be out for the year. But a few games later against Penn State I said, ‘tape it up as strong as you can’ and played one of the best games of my career. I got a shutout and the win.
Q. Have you enjoyed your time in Montana the past year?
A. I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s a beautiful place to work and it’s great how tight-knit the athletic department is. It’s kind of like a family.
And of course the girls did a fantastic job for us. They’re very hard-working kids. I care about every single one of them. We’ve got nowhere to go but up.
Q. How is Griz soccer looking for next season?
A. I think we’re going to do great. I think last season everybody got a new perspective on what it takes to get to that next level as we did last season by winning the Big Sky for the first time since 2000.
Obviously there is still work to be done, but everyone is excited to compete for another conference title and an NCAA tournament bid.
Q. Do you think working as a coach has helped you as a player?
A. I think it has. Playing and coaching go hand-in-hand because as a player you learn so much from your coaching staff.
When you turn around and coach the game, you get an appreciation for what you are teaching your kids and the importance of the little details. So I think it has a great advantage to your playing career.
Q. Are you going to be able to compete next summer for the Rapids?
A. I’m not sure because there are a lot of factors involved. I definitely would say that I hope so.
I would love to have both my playing career and coaching career continue, but we’ll have to wait and see.