Field of AUS Dreams: Meet Amelia Carlini
As Amelia Carlini began her fourth season with the CBU Women’s Soccer Team, she was beyond excited to finally return to the field with her teammates. “I am so excited for the AUS Championship; I’ve had a countdown on my phone for the first game of the season for months now,” says Amelia. Born and raised in Ottawa, Amelia is in her final year of the Bachelor of Arts program with a Major in Communication. During her time as a Centre Midfielder for the Capers, she has helped the team bring home three AUS banners and two national medals.
Out of all the great moments Amelia has experienced as a Caper, she says her top highlight was coming back to win the AUS Final in 2019. “We were down 2-0 after the first half of the game, and at this point you could see how badly we wanted to win,” says Amelia. “We were so resilient all year so we kept pushing and we ended up making a comeback to win 3-2.” In that moment, Amelia says she felt so proud and happy as she heard the final whistle and all of her teammates sprinted to jump on one another in celebration. “After being alongside all of my teammates training together for months, nothing compared to seeing the smiles on their faces that day,” says Amelia. “The cherry on top is that we won in front of all the happy, local supporters on our home field, not to mention winning in front of my Mom and Dad. It was truly a moment I will never forget.”
With all of the achievements Amelia has made as a Caper, she says the people who have had the largest impact on her success as a student athlete are her parents. “My parents are my biggest supporters and they have never missed any of my CBU games, live streaming all of them from Ottawa,” she says. “Knowing that they sit 1700 kilometers away cheering me on from the living room every weekend while wearing orange has shown me how much they believe in me.” Luckily, Amelia’s parents are able to fly out to Cape Breton every year, and she says seeing her Mom and Dad in the crowd means so much to her. “My dad even got a Capers hat when he came down and he wears it everywhere he goes in Ottawa now,” says Amelia. “It is amazing to see that the man I look up to, and who inspired me to start playing in the first place, is now inspired by me.”
Amelia says being away from Ottawa throughout the years made her feel homesick at times, but the connections she has with her teammates help her feel comfortable and ‘at home’ in Cape Breton. “My teammates and I go to the library together and study with each other in our apartments and at hotels when we are away on weekends,” says Amelia. “Every year I have played for the Capers, my teammates have been like family to me and that’s one of the reasons I love playing here.” Of the countless friends Amelia has made during her time at CBU, she says the bond she shares with teammate Madison Lavers is a special one. “Through the hard times and good times at CBU, Madison has always been the first person I go to and I am so grateful to have her,” she says. “I came into CBU not knowing Madison at all, and now I can’t picture my life without her.”
When reflecting back on her career with the Capers, Amelia says she was initially drawn to CBU because of the team culture. “When I was on my recruitment trip, I noticed how close the girls were on the team and they all talked about how much they enjoy being a Caper,” says Amelia. “I knew it was right for me when I realized I would be getting much more than a soccer experience, but also life experience by choosing CBU.” In addition, Amelia believes what makes CBU different from other schools is the tight-knit campus community. “I have had the privilege of getting to know my instructors better, as well as receiving extra help in places like the writing centre,” says Amelia. “It’s also amazing that the friendships you can create here are with people from all over the world.”
Amelia says CBU’s coaching staff has also played a large role in her positive experience as a Caper. “Our coaching staff; Ness, Robert, Chad, Mitchell and Ciera all put so much time and effort into everything they do,” says Amelia. “They make the Capers program so special because they each execute their roles perfectly, and you can tell there is a lot of passion behind what they do.” In Amelia’s opinion, the most beneficial element is how much the coaches truly care about each and every player on the team. “Each of them play a different, but crucial role in bonding our team together and making sure we have everything we need,” she adds. “The coaches have always been there for me regardless of the situation, and I am very grateful to have such selfless and caring coaches around.”
In anticipation of the remainder of the season, Amelia would like to acknowledge the great fans who come out to cheer on the Capers every year. “It means a lot, especially this year with CBU hosting nationals, when we see people who believe in us coming out and cheering us on,” says Amelia. “I would like to say thank you to all the fans who have come out to our games, and who we’ll see in the stands for the rest of the season.”