So far in her college career Rayah Seckler hasn’t made a huge impact on the LIU Brooklyn Women’s Soccer team as she sat out her freshman year and only played in three games during her sophomore year. However, after winning a gold medal while playing with Team USA at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, Seckler said she has experienced a huge boost in confidence and expects that to carry over into this season at LIU.
“My coach had put me in as a starter for the gold medal game and I hadn’t really been starting during most of the tournament,” Seckler said. “When I was put in as a starter, as a forward, my heart sank because it was my time to really be apart of the US team in the gold medal game.”
Seckler stepped up big time, in what she described as the greatest achievement in her athletic career, by scoring two goals and assisting on another as Team USA beat Team Israel 6-1 to take gold in the Maccabiah Games on July 29.
“Scoring those two goals was one of the most amazing experiences,” she said. “After all that hard work, it really paid off.”
Now it’s about translating that success in the “Jewish Olympics” to Brooklyn with her play at LIU. Seckler not only expects that will happen, but, as an upperclassman, she’s already planning on taking a larger leadership role with the team.
“I’ve always had a problem with confidence,” Seckler admitted. “This was a really big boost. I’m a better player than I thought I was and I should think more highly of myself. I can play Division-I soccer with confidence now. My goal this year is to be a starter and, not only that, but to help bring the 12 freshman in and create team chemistry that we will need to be able to win a championship for a third time.”
Seckler will begin that quest for a third championship as the Blackbirds begin their 2013 season during an exhibition game against Army at West Point on Aug. 13. The regular season opener will take place at LIU on Friday Aug. 23 against St. Joseph’s.