Destiny Mueller and Tayler Elsen, two of Gering seniors that led the Cougars to a 10-win season this season, are taking their soccer skills to the next level after signing to play at Western Nebraska Community College.
The two seniors said they picked WNCC because they could be together for another two seasons.
“My plan was to go to Chadron and just go to school and get that done,” Elsen said. “Then Destiny and I were talking that we would have to split up here in a couple months with me going to Chadron and she was staying here. So then I starting thinking that I should just stay here for two years because it would be cheaper and I would be stuck with Destiny. Rasnic started talking to me and I went home and talked to my mom and I decided to stay here for two years.”
Mueller picked WNCC to play soccer because she wanted to be close to her family, especially her great grandma.
“I guess it was for my great grandma because she is not doing too well,” she said. “It gave me the opportunity to stay here and play a sport I love with my family and friends that I still love. Plus I am not ready to leave yet.”
Both players were key starters for a Gering team that made it to the district finals before falling to Bennington on Saturday 3-0.
The two are hoping to get better in soccer at WNCC and it isn’t a big change from high school knowing coaches that they have come to know in WNCC head coach Todd Rasnic and his assistant Henri Prieels, who is also the Gering head coach..
“It is not too big of change for me to deal with a new coach and everything,” Mueller said. “They know how I play and they know I will try to get the job done.”
For Elsen, she knows that playing college soccer will help her get better.
“Over the summer I really didn’t work on soccer, but once soccer season started kicking in,” Elsen said. “I worked hard and tried bettering myself. I improved in different places every year to make it where I am know.”
Elsen said she knows it will be different in college.
“It will be a different level of play,” she said. “I feel like I might not be one of the starters or best players, but I will continue to get better. I will be with teammates to get me where I should be.”
Mueller wasn’t just thinking about playing soccer in college either. She was actually thinking about kicking a football at the college level.
“I actually thought about kicking a football,” she said. “I wanted to do it, but then I thought the guys are a little bit bigger than high school.”
She enjoyed her time kicking for Gering the past two seasons.
“The football team was really fun,” she said. “They respected me and made me feel like I was one of the guys. I guess it was a really good moment for us girls that we can do what guys can do in sports.”
Mueller, who is planning to go in coaching, and Elsen, who will be an elementary education major, said they are also excited to be reunited with former Bulldogs including Melody Kaup, who red-shirted this season at WNCC, and Brittney Spreier, who signed to join the Cougar soccer team on Friday.