Here is a nice story from the Boston Globe on Hannah Stauffer ’05, captain of the Williams soccer team. The article notes that Hannah wears Matt Stauffer’s ’96 number 10. Matt died from leukemia in the winter of 1998.

For anyone with children, the article is a poignant reminder of how fragile life can be.

The article notes that:

Stauffer wants to be a teacher and mother someday and hopes soccer will always be a part of her life. “I love the sport so much,” she said, “but what I love most is being part of a team, being out there sweating together and supporting each other.”

Women’s coach Michelyne Pinard, whose team is ranked sixth in the region with a 7-3-2 record, said Stauffer’s decision to come to Williams has been a pleasant surprise.

“To be voted a team captain after being here for one season says it all,” said Pinard. “Hannah is the engine who runs our attack. She sees everything and makes people around her better. She’s a creator who combines a love of the game with a love to compete, and although I never knew Matt, I hear that was his trademark as well. We’ve talked about Matt, and she is just so proud of him and honored to be associated with him. And I know how proud she is of her sister’s success.

“But I also wanted her to know that we wanted Hannah to be Hannah. And that’s pretty impressive in itself. One of our first-year [players] said it best. That being around Hannah just makes you a better person.”

I actually knew Hannah’s sister Emily (also a star soccer player) while she was at Harvard. My favorite Stauffer family story is that the basement in their house was used by all the kids for playing soccer, with much loudness, flying soccer balls and fun all around. Our own basement now features a similar room, much to my wife’s chagrin. Although, genetics being what they are, my own daughters are unlikely to ever play for Williams, I hope to inculcate in them a love and appreciation of the game. I have few memories of Williams more fond than games of intramural soccer under the purple mountains.

If my own daughters turn out as well as Emily and Hannah, then I will have been a very good father indeed.

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