Triton soccer player heads off

    Soccer is arguably the most grueling sport in the world. Players don’t have time-outs to regroup and they can’t take water breaks to rejuvenate themselves. The players don’t even have proper padding, even though some of the collisions they take resemble those of football.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics Department

    Yet overall, senior Jamie Lutton wouldn’t trade his soccer experience at UCSD for anything.

    “”I’ve been really lucky to be a member of the UCSD men’s soccer team,”” Lutton said. “”I met my girlfriend, Elizabeth, who plays on the women’s team and I was able to watch her win three National Championships. I’ve made a lot of really good friends and had a lot of great memories from the last five years with this team.””

    Lutton has succeeded both academically and athletically in his five-year career at UCSD. He will graduate with a major in psychology and a minor in economics, and he plans to return to school in a few years to obtain a Master’s degree in Business and Administration.

    The camaraderie and hard work that Lutton experienced during his soccer career were a big part of his college experience.

    “”I’ve made a lot of good friends through soccer, especially on this year’s team,”” Lutton said. “”It was really a great group of guys, and that’s what I’m going to miss the most now that I’ve graduated. Any time you spend that much time with a group of people, you’re either going to get really sick of them, or you’re going to become really close to them, and luckily for me, it was the latter of the two.””

    He added that the one guy who has probably influenced him the most is teammate Ryan Tondee, because “”he is a similar player to me — hardworking, very dedicated, really loves to play.””

    When asked about his greatest soccer moment, Lutton had to pause before coming up with one. He said it was tough picking one moment out of five years on the team.

    “”If I had to pick one, it would probably be Tyler’s goal against Cal Poly Pomona last season in overtime. I’d just had surgery on my knee and was sitting with the team on the bench. When he scored that goal, I almost blew out my knee again jumping up to celebrate. Everyone on the bench raced onto the field to celebrate, and I sprinted about three steps with them, totally forgetting I was injured.””

    Lutton has battled back from sustaining many injuries in his five years, including knee surgery, a broken leg, a concussion and countless ankle sprains. Yet, as coach Derek Armstrong said, his “”tenacity got him through the tough times that made him an integral part of the team.””

    As the senior athletes bid farewell to their alma mater and start their lives in the real world, they are all inspirations in their own way. They have been able to sustain strong grades as well as experience the thrill of playing collegiate sports. Lutton is one of these seniors because his experiences both on and off the field truly show how determined and committed a person he is. It’s easy to see success is in his future.

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