On Tuesday, Oct. 3, Coastal Carolina women’s soccer freshman goalkeeper Rylee Atteberry was awarded her third Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Attebery has recorded 58 saves and five shutouts this season, which is 28th in the nation and first among freshman goalkeepers.
Atteberry, a native of Aurora, Colorado, talked about growing up in Colorado and what led to her playing soccer.
“Soccer is not big at all in Colorado,” said Atteberry. “At the age of 5, my mom told me that I needed to find something that would keep me out of trouble. I did everything. I played volleyball, basketball and I even did ballet. For me, soccer just hit a string.”
Attebery considers herself “super nerdy” and admirer of art. One of her favorite things to do growing up, whether she was traveling or at home, was to visit art exhibits and any type of museum.
“I love art,” said Atteberry. “I would go to museum after museum. Back home, we have a nature and science museum, but we also have an art museum. There are installations every few weeks and local art shows. I also really dig science. I would go sit in on surgeries during high school,, and it was so cool to be able to see that stuff.”
As an Art History major, Atteberry’s love for art carried over when she came to Coastal. She always finds the time to pop in at the Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery in Edwards.
“I have a few classes in Edwards, so I get to stop in when I get the chance,” said Attebery. “It’s really neat to talk with all the artists and students. There’s also some art galleries in Myrtle that are pretty cool as well.”
Atteberry also enjoys reading and watching movies whenever she can find the time between practice, games and studying.
She considers herself very lucky and counts her blessings on a daily basis because her community of Aurora was struck with a national tragedy in 2012.
On July 20, 2012, James Holmes opened fire during a midnight showing of the latest Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century 16 multiplex at Town Center in Aurora. He killed 12 people and injured 70 others. It was the worst mass shooting in Colorado since Columbine.
Atteberry opened up about that day, the night of the shooting and the morning after.
“I was supposed to be there that night,” said Atteberry. “That day, I was training with Rangeview High School’s track team and, since I’m a big movie nerd, I planned going. One of the girls who was supposed to take me had to stop for gas, and I told her not to come get me and to go ahead and to go the movie. I woke up the next day and I got a call from my mom and she told me to not freak out, that there was a shooting at the theater, which is ten minutes from my house. A really close friend of mine was in the theater over where the bullets were coming through.”
She talked about what it was like in the days after.
“It rocked everything,” said Atteberry. “It completely changed my perspective. That thing hits hard because you don’t think that it can happen to you until it does. It was really inspiring to see everyone coming together. The event definitely ignited something inside of me. I believe that we are all here for a reason. If I wasn’t supposed to be in that theater that night, then I am obviously supposed to be doing something with my life.”
Atteberry says that events in her town have played a role in her playing style, and she keeps all those affected by the tragedy in her heart all the time.
While the accolades and recognitions are nice, Atteberry wants all students to know that her, and all other Coastal Carolina student athletes, are just like everyone else here on campus.
“We are all human, and we all go through the same thing,” said Atteberry. “I am the same as someone else who is not a student athlete. I go through the same things. I get emotional at times, and I have trials and tribulations that I have to go through. We’re people too.”