Carla Overbeck has every reason to be arrogant and distant from the Duke women’s soccer program, but she has been more to Duke soccer than just an assistant coach for the last 21 years.DURHAM, N.C.-- She won four national championships with the North Carolina Tar Heels and was an American hero to girls across the country when she won the 1999 Women’s World Cup as a captain of the United States Women’s National team.
Carla has always been an inspirational member of our team, but last Tuesday as all the members of our team sat in my apartment and watched ESPN’s Nine for IX episode “The 99ers,” we were reminded of why all of us started and continue to be passionate for the game. However, as I watched the documentary of a vivid moment of my soccer-loving childhood, it’s not the goals and the trophies and the medals that I am proud of. What stood out to me is the unbelievable character and personality of our assistant coach. As a team we got to see how strong Carla was as a player, a leader and a person. On top of all of that, the aweing moment for me was recognizing that she is the exact same person with us as she was with her beloved and renowned ’99 teammates.
Just this preseason you can see the impact Carla has had on our 2013 team. During the five days we spent training in the mountains of North Carolina, she showed us her motherly side when she immediately came to our aid as a strange man tried to get into our van. Carla didn’t hesitate to make a fist, get right into the guy’s face and get him away from our team. She can be protective of us, but she can also be one of us. While driving up the mountain we came across a bear digging through a trash can and the scream was so loud you would have thought it was one of the girls, but it was Carla.
She laughs, she jokes, and she makes fun of all of us, making our relationships with her not one of intimidation of her success, but respect. She is goofy and fun, but come game time she is intelligent, inspiring and one of the most passionate people on the sideline. If you do not know Carla’s story, you would have no idea how much she has accomplished and how tough she is because she is incredibly humble. She is more to us than a famous women’s soccer player, she is a phenomenal coach, mentor and friend.
Senior Avery Rape