LANGLEY, British Columbia - When Tessa Meyer came to Trinity Western in the summer of 2008, expectations were high.
The Surrey, B.C. product was an abundantly coveted recruit and, as training began, it quickly became clear coach Graham Roxburgh’s latest acquisition was bound to make an immediate impact.
And did she ever.
The midfielder, who played her high school soccer at Enver Creek and had grown up idolizing now teammate Melissa Mobilio, quickly assumed a starting role in the middle of the pitch and everything seemed to be going according to plan.
But with fellow midfielder Dana DuMerton, the captain at the time, and Meyer having such a similar playing style, Roxburgh decided it would be best to play Meyer on the outside. Yes, she would still start. But for Meyer, who came to TWU as a 17-year-old sparkplug, just starting wasn’t good enough.
“Any player would love to be on the field, and looking back on it now I should have been more grateful just to be on the field,” said Meyer, who is studying Pre-Med. “But for me it was a blow to my confidence because I felt it was a demotion from my natural position and as soon as my confidence started spiraling downward, so did my performance.”
Meyer got less and less playing time and eventually found herself doing a lot more watching than playing.
By the end of the year, she had gone from starting all the time to playing a combined 41 minutes in three games at nationals.
Sure the team won the CIS title, but for Meyer she could do little more than be a cheerleader.
It’s been nearly two years since then, and my how times have changed.
The bubbly, pop guzzling – she'll drink half a litre of pop before each game – bundle of energy is back at her natural position and is a key cog in the Spartans machine.
She’s a leader by example. She’s got her confidence back. And, despite a preseason injury that should have kept her out for four to six weeks but only saw her miss two and half weeks, she’s just dynamite in the middle.
And when Meyer now recalls her lowest point as a Spartan, the turning point in her career is clear.
“After nationals [in 2008], it was one of Graham’s primary goals to get my confidence back up and get me playing in my natural position, so that spring season was really good for me and my performance went way up,” Meyer said.
“Graham did a lot of one-on-one coaching with me personally and I got my love to play back.”
And the women’s team has been so much better for it.
And once again for Meyer, the expectations are high. But now she’s matured and ready to live up to the hype.
Last Updated: 2010-12-21