Natalee Geren has been a key part of the Little Rock soccer team since arriving on campus back in 2018. As an upperclassman now, Geren is able to appreciate her early years at the Arkansas school and look ahead to how she and her teammates can find success moving forward.
In Geren’s freshman season, Little Rock had a historic season, winning its first-ever Sun Belt Championship and appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. “Freshman year during the Tournament I got the opportunity to step on the field and play as center-back due to an injury to one of our starters,” Natalee explained to BGN. “This gave me some good confidence going into the next season because it showed me that I could play and compete at a level needed to win.”
Describing becoming a Sun Belt champion, Geren said, “It was a very special feeling to win the Tournament, one that I will never forget. I think that we were so successful because everyone on the team was bought in and we all wanted the same thing. We all worked very hard in every aspect of our lives. We also had a lot of upperclassmen who were great leaders for our team.”
Natalee is now a junior and has started every match in 2019 and 2020 for the Trojans. The team is 2-5-1 this season and Geren explained the inconsistency thus far. “I think part of the reason we have been so on and off is just due to our focus. We are an amazing team with great talent and we’ve shown in several games that we have what it takes to win it all,” she said. “I think that heading into these final matches we just really need to get our heads on straight and remember the goals that we’ve set as a team. I also think that we need to go into these games knowing that we will win instead of hoping that we will.”
Geren and the Trojans will look to bounce back from a loss over the weekend when they face Louisiana-Lafayette tonight on the road. Then, they close out their regular season a week from today on Senior Night against ULM.
On this year’s roster, there are nine players from outside the United States and Canada, including players from Sweden, Iceland, and Germany. “It’s very cool to have so much diversity on our team,” Geren said. “I get to learn about how a lot of my teammates live and it’s very interesting to see the different cultures that we all have.”
“My freshman year, I lived with my teammate Astros (Luckas), who’s from Iceland, and that year she introduced me to different Icelandic candy and food!”
Personally, Natalee hails from Round Rock, Texas. She loves the number of unique places to go in nearby downtown Austin. “I have lived near there pretty much my whole life and there are still so many places I haven’t been to. My favorite restaurant is Jardin Corona and my favorite place to go is Zilker Park.”
What brought her from The Lonestar State to Little Rock? Natalee answered, “The biggest factor for me attending Little Rock was definitely the atmosphere of our team. We have a really good family atmosphere and I really love that we all live together.”
“I also really liked the fact that it’s not a huge school so it has allowed me to get closer to a lot of different people, and that may not have happened at a big university.”