Soccer

Cane battles back from lost season

Last season, the University of Miami’s women’s soccer team went 9-6-5 and made it to the first round of the NCAA tournament for only the second time in the program’s history.

Times were tough, however, for junior midfielder Paulelett Ricks-Chambers, who had to watch it all from the sidelines.

Ricks-Chambers was in and out of the hospital for health reasons that were never fully understood and was granted a redshirt year.

In 2006, before her injury, she finished second on the team in goals and scoring.

“It was really difficult to watch, but I was really proud of my team,” Ricks-Chambers said. “I wanted to help keep up the success.”

She and the Hurricanes started this season on a seven-game win streak, a program record.

“I saw how much I missed the game of soccer when I was out, so that was my motivation,” the 5’4″ California native said. “I wanted to get back to playing and show all the people who said that I couldn’t do it. I trained really hard over the summer.”

With her rehabilitation, she was unable to visit her three older brothers. As a kid, they always pushed her to eat right and kicked a ball around with her. But in the first road game of the season, against Arkansas-Little Rock, all the hard work paid off as she connected on her first goal since her comeback. The Canes went on to win the game 3-0.

“It felt great, and I wanted to keep going from there,” Ricks-Chambers said.

With senior forward Rachael Rigamat’s nagging leg injury, No. 5 now often plays forward and acts as a spark on offense with her speed.

She has started all 14 games and has two goals and two assists.

“Paulelett is a special player,” head coach Tricia Taliaferro said. “She’s better than she was before the injury, and she feeds off energy and more game experience.”

As a teammate, Ricks-Chambers acts as a role model to the younger players, who have adopted her work ethic and desire to improve.

“She represents everything this team is about – the hard work and the determination,” Taliaferro said. “Having her back on the field is such a motivator for our team.”

Her experience will be needed now more than ever with the team facing a seven-game winless streak heading into Sunday’s home match against 11th-ranked Florida State (9-2-1, 3-1-0 ACC).

Despite this, the Hurricanes (7-5-2) need just two victories to tie last season’s total with, six matches left before the ACC tournament.

When asked if she would pursue a career in soccer after Miami, the elementary education and history major seemed to know where she wants her future to be after battling back:

“I think I’m going to hang up my cleats after, hopefully, my five years here,” she said.

October 8, 2008

Reporters

Christina De Nicola

Editor In Chief


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Jesus Luzardo had yet to throw a single pitch as a professional baseball player in 2016 when he unde ...

Former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Robert Marve has been arrested in Hillsborough County on an out- ...

Mark Richt has led the Miami Hurricanes back into the national college football conversation during ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and his vaunted 2018 signing class, nicknamed #Storm18, should ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Political polarization, distrust in fact-based knowledge and verbal targeting may be fueling the ons ...

The University of Miami had four student-athletes selected to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award ...

The University of Miami's Symone Mason closed out the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships with a ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara announced the additions of K ...

Three-time CSCAA Honorable Mention All-American diver Wally Layland and two-time ITA All-American te ...

Miami head women's tennis coach Paige Yaroshuk-Tews announced Thursday the signing of two more ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.