Caroline Bishop excels in soccer, motivates the team

Caroline Bishop excels in soccer, motivates the team

Eileen Martin/ Guilfordian

At the age of five, senior women’s soccer player Caroline Bishop laced up her first pair of cleats. Since, her determination has kept the ball rolling.

“She played at a very high level in high school,” said her father, Jeff Bishop, in an email interview. “She became captain, played in several state championships and knocked down several awards.

“When she was a freshman in high school, Caroline played with an under-18 club team, which included the best senior high school players from around the region.”

Bishop’s growth as a player can be attributed to her passion for the game.

“Caroline is an excellent leader who has worked very hard to improve her game,” said ex-boyfriend and personal coach Brian Lutz in an email interview. “She is fast and fearless.

“This is an excellent combination of attributes to have as a soccer player and these have carried her through her playing career.”

During her first three seasons at Guilford, Bishop played sweeper. As a first-year, she was named to the Meredith College Classic All-Tournament Team while playing the position.

In her last season, she scored three goals after earning the opportunity to play forward.

“The reason I put her up top was her aggressive nature and her physicality of the game,” said head women’s soccer coach Michael Shenigo. “She was able to put a lot of pressure under the backs.”

“I always wanted to play up top, but we didn’t have a lot of people to play defense,” said Bishop.

This position change allowed Bishop to score during the last game of her Guilford career, as her parents watched eagerly from the sidelines.

“That was probably one of the highlights of my whole career in college,” said Bishop.

Regardless of her position, Bishop maintained intensity from the moment she stepped on the Armfield Athletic Center to the last minutes of the game.

“A lot of times, I can’t hear or see anyone on the sidelines,” said Bishop. “It’s almost like tunnel vision.

“The game is all I can think about. It’s just where I am at that moment. I’ve never been more present than I am at a soccer game.”

Bishop arrived to every game prepared to give 100 percent effort.

“Hard work is the first word that comes to mind when I think about Caroline,” said sophomore midfielder Kelly Mulka. “Just looking at her play just makes me want to play harder.”

While the scoreboard did not always reflect the team’s expectations, Bishop remained optimistic.

“One of the biggest things she had was positivity,” said senior midfielder Emily Comerford. “It’s hard for a team that’s losing to keep up with what they’re doing, and she definitely always gave her all.”

Voted captain by her teammates, the star never failed to step up to the plate.

“I believe that Caroline’s strongest skill is that she is a true leader,” said sophomore midfielder Cassie Vaughn in an email interview. “She pushes all of us to play our best and maintains a positive attitude, regardless of the score on the board.

“She has helped keep the team uplifted and has made me proud to be a Guilford College women’s soccer player.”

Not only is Bishop a leader on the soccer field, but in the classroom as well.

“Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I really appreciate that,” said Professor of Sports Studies Lavon Williams. “Being positive and enthusiastic engenders in others a more positive attitude.

“This makes her a natural leader.”

After graduation, Bishop hopes to find a job allowing her to remain active.

“I want to do something where I can be physical, show other people how to be physical and relay wellness to others,” said Bishop. “Using fitness as a way of stress relief is my ultimate goal.”

In terms of soccer, she does not plan on dropping the sport anytime soon.

“Soccer is always going to be in my life no matter what,” said Bishop. “I don’t see myself straying far from the sport.

“It’s one thing that I know I’ve put my heart into.”