Sam Vicker played youth soccer on an FC Milwaukee team coached by Christian Lavers that went on a remarkable run of national achievement over 3 years. During the team’s U16 – U18 seasons, prior to the ECNL, the team proved itself as consistently one of the top 10 teams in the country by winning the USYS Midwest Regional League once and finishing second once, qualifying for 2 USYS Region II Midwest Championship Finals (where they dropped both heartbreaking games in overtime), and qualifying for both the Disney Showcase –Showcase Division Finals and the San Diego Surf Cup Finals (losing in overtime again). Sam played center midfield, where her leadership, technical quality, and selflessness were models for the team. In high school, she played club soccer year round her junior and senior year.
Sam went on to play at Marquette University, where she finished her career this fall playing with her younger sister Mady Vicker. Recognizing her "team first" attitude and work rate, Sam was selected as a captain for Marquette this season. She is currently in the first year of the Physician Assistant program at Marquette, and will graduate from the program in 2015.
How did you pick Marquette University as the place you wanted to go to school and play college soccer?
"I picked Marquette because I always liked the atmosphere they created. The idea of family is probably one of the most important values of the program, and I love that I now basically have 40 sisters since my time playing there."
How did the training and competition you had as a youth player help prepare you for collegiate success?
"The intensity that was demanded day-in and day-out at club practices without a doubt prepared me for college soccer. I think the competitive level and accountability that had been expectations during my club experience allowed an easier transition into college. For me personally, I think even more significant was the importance of mental concentration and toughness that was engrained in me in youth soccer. Though was definitely struggle in my club years, I became so very grateful for these high standards later because they truly helped me overcome adversity and difficulties in college."
What are your favorite memories of playing in club?
"I think that it’s so awesome that even though we played year round club soccer over four years ago, my teammates and I still joke around about things that happened at practices and especially tournaments. The environment we created was just something that I don’t think I will ever forget. No matter how bad of a day I was having, I could always come to practice and have fun, while simultaneously competing at an extremely high level."
How do you think your soccer career (youth and college) helped you most?
"Being involved in soccer over the years taught me so much. One of the major things I think I got from my involvement was discipline. Having practice so many times for so many hours a week, I had to manage my time and stay disciplined in order to balance everything in my life."
What is the best piece of advice you wish someone had given you while you were a youth soccer player?
"I’m pretty sure we were told this a time or two, but I think the most important advice I ever got was to enjoy it. The time of club soccer goes so fast, and the whole experience is something that you can never get back again. Embrace the intense competition and good times, because I think it is truly the best soccer experience of your life! "