|Remi Roberts' goal: Make Charlotte 49ers teammates better|
|Sophomore defender healthy and ready to contribute|
|Published Monday, August 20, 2018 2:31 pm|
Remi Roberts focuses on making others better.
The Charlotte 49ers sophomore defender started both matches over the weekend, playing the entirety of their season opener against Longwood, which they won 1-0 in overtime. They lost their second match, which also went to overtime, 1-0 at Virginia Commonwealth. Charlotte (1-1) hosts Akron on Friday at 5 p.m. in a doubleheader with the men’s program, who host Florida Golf Coast in their season opener.
“Coach [John Cullen] always says, ‘just be a good teammate,’” Roberts said. “I don’t really try to focus on myself as much. I think that helps my game as well—trying to build up the people around me, so I have a good support system—it helps. It’s not always about me, which is good.”
Said All-Conference USA junior striker Megan Greene: “Remi is probably one of the most improved players I’ve seen this year.”
At 6-foot-1, Roberts brings composure to the 49ers back four.
“She’s got the calmness,” Cullen said. “She picks out different passes. She’s not afraid to play the ball into midfield, where some defenders would go long time and time again, but if she does want to go long, she’s got that great strike of the ball. She can put us on the attack. It’s nice to have that weapon. I would love to play the ball on the floor the whole time, and ping it around and pass and create angles, but we’ve got a player at the back who can turn the other team around, and we’re going to use it from time to time. Just pleased to have her.”
Said Roberts: “We’re very young. We’re just trying to build them up, and teach them our style of play. Having a bunch of defenders who are freshmen, it’s good to help them every day.”
Roberts first start as a freshman came on Oct. 8 against Florida Atlantic. She finished the season with five starts in 13 appearances and 654 minutes played. She suffered a concussion last fall as well as one in the spring, and has since taken to wearing a concussion headband.
“It’s like a bonus getting her this year,” Cullen said. “We got her toward the back end of the conference tournament. We could see in those little moment at the back end of the season how good a player she was.”
Fitness remained Roberts’ focus in the interim to bounce back from the injury.
“I’ve been trying to focus on my fitness, because I figured if I have a high level of fitness the soccer will come over time,” she said. “I really just tried to build on that. Soccer skills will come back over time, but it’s hard to build your fitness. As long as I had a good foundation with my fitness, everything else will play out. It’s going well so far—thank God.”
Roberts graduated Weddington High and played for Charlotte Soccer Academy. She earned 2016 state championship MVP during the Warriors’ first undefeated season (24-0-1).
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