By Quincy Fuehne
The Quincy University Women’s Soccer team has found immense success the past few years. The Hawks finished the 2017 fall season with a winning record of 17-4-1 and took a trip to the NCAA Division II tournament, finishing in the Sweet 16. The team was ranked No.1 in the GLVC conference going 13-1.
Behind this success is manager Hayley Rocco, a sophomore nursing student from St. Peters, Mo. Soccer has been a part of Rocco’s life since she was in elementary school. Therefore, giving up the sport just because she was going away to college didn’t seem like an option to her.
Rocco does it all and rarely, if ever, complains.
“One time someone kicked the ball over the net and Hayley went to go get it. When she came back, her shoes and pants were wet. It turns out the ball went into the creek! But of course, she was not one to complain,” Maddy Kuhlenberg, senior defender, said.
Rocco attends every practice and game just like the players. She keeps everything running smoothly. Rocco does anything to take the extra pressure off of the coaches on game day as well, including talking to the women and ensuring they have a positive attitude.
“Even though she may not have a position on the field, her role is equally important,” Kuhlenberg said.
Rocco’s duties range from doing the team’s laundry, to helping with equipment, and setting up cones for drills. She fills water bottles, gets ice, collects balls, and so much more. While the work can be overwhelming at times, Rocco simply wants to do what is best for her players.
Whatever the coaches or team needs, Hayley is right there to help. Many of the team members refer to her as ‘Mom’ because of her helpful, genuine ways.
“She really goes above and beyond for our team and would do anything to help us,” Alli Diekmann, junior defender, said.
Rocco’s advice to other managers includes building good relationships with the players and coaches, putting in your best effort, helping out in whatever way the team needs, and most importantly, just having fun. The position has created many lifelong friends and instilled positive values for Rocco.
“The most rewarding thing is finishing a day feeling like you did something and made a difference,” Rocco said.
Outside of soccer, Rocco enjoys working out, hanging out with friends, going on walks and exploring the different things Quincy has to offer. She is also involved in Special Olympics on campus.
The Hawks 2017 Head Coach Dave Musso recently accepted a head coaching position at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. With this coaching change comes the possibility of change for Rocco and her position. The team continues to have meetings to discuss expectations and changes with new Head Coach Marc Hager.
“I look forward to the new challenge. We are still a winning program and that won’t change,” Rocco said.