Amy Rossi loved her time in Athens.
So, when she heard about an opportunity to return the school she graduated from, she took advantage of it, even if it meant making the drive from New Jersey.
This fall is the 20th anniversary of Bobcat soccer, and for many different people, that has its own special meaning.
For Rossi, a 2007 graduate, and other alumni, it allows them to relive some of the best moments of their life.
“The culture makes you want to come back and be a part of everything you can be,” she said. “It’s great to be invited back for something that’s a big accomplishment for the program.”
Former Bobcat Annie Collins added to that sentiment.
“It’s just the perfect college town feel,” Collins said. “There’s no place like it.”
Some alumni enjoyed the chance to reconnect with people they hadn’t seen in years.
Gina Weable, a 2005 graduate, said the team spent so much time together and formed a close bond, so it was an easy decision to come back.
“We formed a family,” Weable said.
For coach Aaron Rodgers, he appreciates the anniversary. It gives his current players an example of life after college.
“To see that these alumni now who are professionals, mothers, wives,” Rodgers said. “That’s where our players now are going to be in, and sometimes we lose perspective of that, to see that they were in the same position, so how can they help us, what kind of advice can they give?”
Rodgers also feels that the anniversary represents the progress the program has made and is continuing to.
“It’s neat to see different eras come in and show that Bobcat soccer has been around a long time and is going to be around a long time after we’re gone from here,” he added.
Just being a part of the moment means a lot. But some, like senior forward Allie Curry, don’t want to this season just to be remembered as the celebration of 20 years.
“Hopefully, at the end of the season, we can say we did a good job for the 20th anniversary and put the program in a better position than it ever has been.” Curry said.
For others, it meant a way to show the team’s growth after former teammates had graduated.
Senior forward Hannah Jaggers used the moment to show the alumni that the program is still raising the bar and building off what they started.
“They’re not forgotten; we’re playing for them still,” Jaggers added.
And the current players haven't been forgotten, either.
That's why Amy Rossi returned to Athens, driving hundreds of miles to celebrate the anniversary of Ohio women's soccer.