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Pooja Patel: When the final game ends

Photo credit: Sean Martens

Photo credit: Sean Martens

Photo credit: Sean Martens

Rebecca Norton

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Can you describe your four seasons playing for Chico State and how the team evolved? More specifically, how you evolved over the course of these years as a player?

  • “Ups and downs but I’ve grown and learned so much from the program, my coaches, and my teammates. Going through the program and getting older and more experienced really helps to understand more about soccer and life in general. Being an upperclassman on the team is a huge responsibility. We have to set the example for the younger kids and shape the program and culture into what we want to be known for and represent. since I’ve been here I think what’s changed the most is how the leadership affects the team. a team’s success is pretty much a direct representation of their leadership and this year we had a phenomenal group of selfless leaders that helped create a true team culture”

Can you describe anything you feel that future players should know about being committed to a sport that trains hard throughout the entire year?

  • “Enjoy every moment. make the connections with people. Know your role on the team and always do it for your teammates around you that believe in you. walk away proud of what you accomplished and the relationships you created.”

When you played your last game, how did you feel?

  • “Sadness since it wasn’t an ideal way to lose my last game 3-0, but just looking around and seeing my teammates just as sad as I was. Seeing how invested everyone was made it worse but also made me happy because of how great this was and how much they mean to me”

How did you feel about being surrounded by fans in from the family who were watching you play your last game?

  • “It was awesome that’s they really are invested just as much as the players. most parents come to almost all of our games. they travel just as much as we do. they make sure we have food after games at tailgates. they’re just as apart of the team and the program as the players are. Overall, Pooja felt so “ loved and supported.”

Pooja Patel gave her all for all four years of Collegiate soccer, and was left with not only a team and being one of the top scorers at Chico State in history, she left with memories and teammates that will be with her forever. We all have families and make friends in different ways, but the loyalty and love I have personally witnessed by the Chico State women’s soccer team is unprecedented. She gave her all, and walking off of that field of her last game, she was walking into a new chapter of her life where she can kick ass there too. We all have our own journeys here at Chic State, but being on a sports team means you can share it with those who will always share a passion for what you love as well, and you will work hard as a team. Teamwork is hard work, and mental control of knowing you aren’t always going to be the best in the bunch can take a toll. Not on Pooja Patel, she ended her season with a bang.

Rebecca Norton can be reached at or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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Pooja Patel: When the final game ends