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PFC Alumni - Where are They Now?

Erika Rich

PFC Team 92/93 Girls
Player for PFC from U12 through U18
2011 Graduate of Chartiers Valley High School 
2015 Graduate of Wittenberg University


Erika began playing soccer at age 5 for Chartiers Valley Soccer Association, she went through the CVSA travel program and played High School.  She started playing for PFC at 11 years old and played through u18.   She was recruited to play at Wittenberg University where she played all 4 years of college soccer.  After graduating college Erika moved to Nashville, TN and worked in real estate and recruitment.  She is currently living and working in Nashville where she is self-employed working in real estate, teaching yoga and living her best life!


Interview with Erika: 

What did you learn from playing competitive soccer? 

Competitive soccer taught me responsibility and how to be a team player. It also taught me the value you of commitment. When you get to a certain level in sports commitment becomes a highly valued trait. My team and coaches counted on me to be present and at my best every game and practice. It pushes you to become better, while having endless amounts of support.


How did playing competitive youth soccer help you as a college student?

Competitive youth soccer helped me as a college student by preparing my time management skills. As a high school student learning to juggle academics and multiple soccer teams allowed me to translate those skills into my time management needed for college when it came to academics, athletics, a campus job and being in a sorority. Had I not had that experience in high school, transitioning into college could have been overwhelming but the experience allowed it to be a smooth transition that I felt like I could handle.

What were some of the positives of playing Soccer in college and being a D3 athlete? 

A few positives of playing soccer in college was the instant sense of community. My first day on campus I was welcomed by 30 teammates, to this day those women are some of my best friends. It was like walking on campus and having a new family. An additional benefit to playing D3 soccer is that my coach and my teammates valued balance. Education came first and that was understood by everyone. I never felt like I had to sacrifice my education over soccer. My coaches were very aware that we were there for an education and wanted us to have the best college experience.

What is your favorite PFC memory?

 I wouldn’t be where I am today if little 11 year old Erika didn’t nervously show up to her first Club tryouts. It was an experience I won’t ever forget. I remember being out on the field, running my fastest and wanting nothing more than to join this team and be a part of something new. Plus the coach, Mr. Nickel was from Scotland and I thought his accent was the coolest! 

Joining a club level sport has displayed value in my life in so many ways on and off the field. While I was in high school running track, playing high school soccer and club soccer for PFC I always had something to do. It allowed me to learn to manage my time and gave structure to my life. I thought my mom was just keeping me busy. But when I got to college and wanted to play soccer, join a sorority and keep god grades, I was thankful I already had practice managing that many commitments. I was always doing something active as opposed to sitting at home watching TV. 

It brought me together with a diverse group of women outside of my normal high school community. I created lifelong friends, memories and values that are still a part of my life today more than 10 years later (wow, I feel old!) 

I am so grateful for the traveling we did to constantly push ourselves to the next level. My favorite memories from PFC were the weekends on the road with my friends and our soccer moms. Folding chairs, coolers and smelly shin guards packed up and thrown into a minivan sounds like a vacation to me now. But looking back on it, I am grateful for the hard work I was putting in to be the best version of myself. I couldn’t image growing up without this experience. 

We got to travel all over, even to Niagara Falls. I was able to meet other soccer players from all over the world that thanks to social media, I am still able to keep in touch with 10 years later. 

Now that I am older, being a part of PFC still comes through in my life. People respect the fact I was able to manage school, multiple soccer teams and my life. I have had people work with and hire me based on my back ground as an athlete. Being an athlete says a lot about you without having to say anything at all. It takes determination, commitment and follow through that is proven just by being a part of the team. These values are still present in my daily life thanks to the good habits I was practicing way back when. 

PFC helped build my character from a young age and guided me into the person I am today.



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