From a torn ACL to starting 71 consecutive games for WSC

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  • Natalie Rech has played her last socer game as a Wildcat, but not before starting 71 consecutive games at WSC. The senior from Blair, Nebraska, tore her ACL during high school and considered quitting soccer.

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William Barnard, Staff Writer

From almost quitting soccer to starting in 71 consecutive games for Wayne State College, Natalie Rech worked o get where she is now.

Rech is a senior defender from Blair, Nebraska, who just finished her last season at WSC and now looks forward to her next challenge of medical school.

Junior year of high school was almost the breaking point for Rech. She suffered a torn ACL in April and had her surgery in June of the same year. Rech also played basketball and softball in high school but that all changed.

Rech found herself on the brink of being done with soccer for good but as she worked on her rehab, she became more motivated. “I tore my ACL and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get back into soccer or not and then as I worked through the whole recovery process, I fully decided that I was going to play college soccer,” Rech said.

With the help from her mom and club soccer coaches, she sent out film to as many coaches as possible. Rech couldn’t be scouted anymore in-person due to the injury, leaving the remainder of her recruitment to be relied on her game film and word of mouth.

At first she did not fully enjoy the idea of going to Wayne State. Her mom went to WSC, along with many of her siblings and their spouses. After receiving the scholarship offer, she waited a while before accepting it and attending in the fall.

“Fall of my senior year I came on a visit here [Wayne State College] and just watched a game and stayed with a couple girls overnight and the team had a really good atmosphere ,so that’s what really drew me in,” Rech said.

Rech’s soccer career might not have been what it is if it weren’t for her club coaches calling her dad asking if she still wanted to play after she had quit her freshman year in high school. Natalie has also faced some adversity in the classroom as well.

Rech has recently been accepted into The University of Nebraska Medical Center. In order to get into the school, Natalie needed a score of 500 to pass the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test).

On the first try she fell short of the 500, but right after seeing how close she was she started to study again. She prepared herself and studied harder than before and it paid off when she saw the results of the second test.

When Rech first arrived at WSC, she was deciding between medicine and physical therapy. Physical therapy interested her because she had been recently doing a lot of rehab and liked her physical therapist.

Usually students who want to go into medicine apply to RHOP (Rural Health Opportunities Program) but since Natalie was in-between majors she did not apply.

“I applied and a week or two later I got an interview and then I was in,” Rech said. “It was a different way than a lot of people get in.”

During her sophomore year she was approached by a teacher at the end of a class. At first she thought she was in trouble but he asked if she would want to be a part of RHOP due to a few people dropping out.

Rech will graduate from Wayne State College in the Spring of 2019. She will be continuing her education at UNMC in the fall.