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Roberts off to a strong start for women’s soccer team

Ryan Grady

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Junior forward Nicole Roberts has scored twice for the Chico State women's soccer team so far this season. Photo courtesy Chico Wildcats

Nicole Roberts walks into the locker room with a boom box in hand and that’s where it begins. Before every game, the women’s soccer team likes to get fired up and bring tempo to the field.

“It’s fun to have our pregame dance party,” Roberts said. “It pumps us up.”

Roberts and her boom box have helped the Chico State women’s soccer team get off to a 4-2-1 start to the season.

The ‘Cats are planning to finish out the season strong, and Roberts, a junior forward, has her eyes set on going all the way to the final four, she said.

“We have really good team chemistry this year,” Roberts said. “We think we will get there.”

Roberts has contributed to the ‘Cats offense this far, already scoring twice while also earning an assist.

“She came in extremely fit this preseason ready to go,” said senior midfielder Megan Tabler. “Her work ethic and drive to score goals this year is clearly evident.”

Roberts biggest memory came in the Wildcats fourth game, when she found the back of the net two times, though one of the goals was taken back because it was an own goal.

“It was my second goal here and it came off of a header,” Roberts said. “Those are my biggest thrills.”

The team has a crafty lineup at the forward positions, she said.

Tabler, having lots of experience at the college level, said she knows what to expect from others on the team.

“To continue to be successful this season, we are going to need to put the ball in the back of the net and not miss opportunities,” Tabler said. “Our conference is tough, so up top we are focusing on effort, grit and movement.”

Tabler dished out the pass to Roberts for the second goal of her career.

“Our teammates are so good at setting us up,” Roberts said. “It helps because I’m good at turning and shooting quick.”

Roberts’ hard work and motivation are rubbing off on the rest of the team.

“She is always positive and encouraging other teammates,” said sophomore defender Danica Koos. “She is a leader on the field with her loud voice, her efforts to invest in the program and by the way she plays.”

Roberts made sure that not only was she conditioned, but pushed her teammates to be at the same level as well.

“If it weren’t for Nicole, I wouldn’t have passed my fitness test this year,” Koos said. “She texted me every night before the tests with something encouraging. She literally pushed me on my back to cross the finish line.”

Roberts said she has put in the time over the years to get to where she is now.

“It’s been a journey,” Roberts said. “It’s hard coming from high school where you play every game. Out here you have to really earn your spot.”

Roberts’ journey started at age 5. Going to her older sister’s games started a passion for the sport.

“I just fell in love with the game,” Roberts said. “And now I have been playing for 15 years.”

Ryan Grady can be reached at [email protected] or @ryangrady23 on Twitter.

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Roberts off to a strong start for women’s soccer team