Soccer Player Named Champion of Character
The final game of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) soccer tournament did not mark the end of highlighting the talent, determination, and spirit of the Trinity women’s soccer team. A testament to the caliber of women on the team—the first in Trinity’s history to reach the national championship—player Natalie Buikema ’09 of Brookfield, Wisconsin, was announced as a recipient of the Brine Method Champions of Character scholarship.
Brine Method is designed to help athletes discover, promote, and achieve greatness while developing skills and character values on and off the field. The $1,000 scholarship is an opportunity for the NAIA and Brine to reward and recognize one female and one male student-athlete who best exemplify the Champions of Character and Brine Method ideal throughout the NAIA soccer national championship tournaments.
Buikema, co-captain of the Trolls, helped lead the team to its first national championship appearance and a 23-2 record, the best in the program’s history. The team recorded its second loss of the season to No. 3 seed and national champions Lee University (TN) in semifinal action.
Off the field, the senior nursing major has traveled on mission trips to Mexico and Costa Rica and has been named to the athletics department high honor roll. Buikema has received Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) All-Conference, NAIA All-Region and NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors. She ended the season with six goals and five assists and was named the Champions of Character award winner for the Trinity women’s soccer program.
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