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Perseverance Paying Dividends For Soccer-Softball Star Megan Godwin

By Brent Pelella / Sports Information Staff

godwin_head72LEC_2750.jpgWILLIMANTIC, Conn. - 'Adversity' is one of the most powerful forces a person must overcome in the course of life. In fact, virtually every opportunity presents such challenges, but those who triumph are the ones who embrace and vanquish them.

For Megan Godwin, resilience in the eye of darkness became a characteristic of hers the second she stepped foot on the Eastern Connecticut State University campus in 2010. As a two-sport athlete, Megan came in to a practically insurmountable feat. She faced the intimidating idea of starting college, alongside the difficult task of proving she could contribute as an athlete in both soccer and softball.

"At first, I was extremely nervous for soccer because I had to prove myself right away," confided the former Manchester High School soccer and softball standout.  "On the other hand (because of soccer), I was also missing fall softball, which gave me a disadvantage going into the spring."

godwin72_6059.jpggodwin_72_3088.jpgHer nerves were unfounded as she flourished in both sports in just her first season, starting 19 matches on defense and playing the third-most minutes on a soccer team which advanced without a loss all season through two rounds of the NCAA tournament, and starting 40 games and batting .339 as the starting shortstop on a regional championship team which advanced to the Division III national tournament.

Her impressive year sparked an unbelievably comfortable atmosphere for Godwin going into her second season, "My teammates and coaches aided me through that first season. Both of my coaches are so supportive and understanding, it's unbelievable."

Of course, in 2011-2012 Godwin didn't disappointed, logging the second most minutes on the soccer team and batting .272 playing the entire 44 game schedule. No one can fathom what would come next.

Godwin was bedridden with a devastating case of pneumonia early in her 2012 soccer campaign, "When I got sick, I was so sad. People were advising me to take a medical hardship waiver and salvage my year of eligibility, but I wanted to play so bad."

So play is what she did. After being in the hospital for four days, and recovering from a drained lung, she began the most rigorous process she has ever been through. It took months of rehab in the training room. It took day after day of treatment, progressing from the lightest stretching to finally touching a ball on the field.

Godwin exemplified a consistent desire only Rudy Ruettiger could appreciate, and her reward was 35 minutes of pure euphoria, as she fought alongside her teammates in a heartbreaking Little East Conference tournament loss to Western Connecticut, "The feeling of being on the field was so great I can't even describe it. Almost losing an entire season increased my work ethic so much."

The senior Communication major overflows with positive energy. Her close relationship with her family is one of the main reasons why she decided to attend Eastern, "My parents are the most amazing people I've ever met. They push to finish everything I start and without them I don't know where I'd be." She admitted. "My brothers (David and Peter) are a huge impact on my life as well. Together they provide me with such a strong drive to succeed."

Her success and competitiveness is only a few aspects of the persona that is Megan Godwin. She mentioned how easy it is to take college sports for granted, "It's so fun, and I think a lot of us don't realize what a great impact it has on our lives. You not only learn what its like to be a part of something bigger than yourself, but you also make friendships that stay with you the rest of your life."

The perception Godwin lives by cannot be taught by a coach and certainly can't be obtained half-heartedly. However, her inspiration should show that you shouldn't give up if you find yourself spinning out in a rut, because there's always another way to move forward in life. There's always another way to find everlasting bliss.

 

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