- Jim Townsend
Portland’s Rachel Nelson Signs to Play Soccer at Olivet College
Raider Soccer Coach Chris Roof said, “Her story is pretty remarkable. She has always been a goalie at heart but started as a center defender two seasons ago. During that season she suffered a knee injury towards the end of the season and was sidelined for over 8 months while she recovered from having surgery. She worked very hard in the off season to get back to where she is now. Last year she earned all-conference honors as a goalie with three shut outs in the league.” Roof added that he was, “Definitely very proud of her and her accomplishments.” In an email to The Beacon, parents Jeremy and Kim Nelson said, “We are really proud of Rachel. In 3rd grade she started playing recreation soccer here in Portland. Her love for soccer grew. After AYSO was done for her age group and before high school, she told us she wanted to play in college so we knew she needed more. She played at Midwest United FC for five years. During her sophomore year on the varsity soccer team she tore her right ACL playing defense. She worked through the recovery and the strength training to get her knee back to be able to play the following spring. She was cleared to play a week before the varsity season started for her junior year. We are excited to watch her continue to grow, not only in her soccer career, but in her academics at OC!”
As for her future at Olivet, Rachel said, “I am really excited to be playing college soccer! I’ve had this dream since I was little and it’s really cool to see that I am capable of completing what I put my mind to. My journey to get where I am has had some difficulties. I started goalkeeping 8 years ago and I also played some defense. While defending in my sophomore year I tore my ACL which sat me out for nine months. I have come back stronger and with more determination. I plan on using that same determination to major in Insurance and Risk Management at Olivet College. I can’t wait to see what college has in store!”
Founded in 1844 and located in Olivet, MI, roughly 35 minutes Southwest of Lansing, Olivet College has an enrollment of 1,040. The Comets compete in NCAA Division III and are a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, America’s oldest college athletics conference. The Comet soccer team finished 8-9-2 in 2018.