MOREHEAD CITY — West Carteret senior Raine Greene is lacing up her cleats for William Peace University next year.
The athletic midfielder will attend the Division III school under academic scholarship in the fall while helping to turn around a moribund girls soccer program that has gone combined 6-39-2 over the last three seasons.
The coach who recruited me, (Reid Clewis), was at Mount Olive before coming in to William Peace this year,” Greene said. “The school is trying to turn its athletic programs around, so they brought him in to help turn around the girls soccer team. I’m excited to be a part of that change.”
Greene was committed to William Peace in the fall but spent her senior year observing where her classmates chose to attend and weighing her academic goals against the possibility of playing collegiate soccer.
“I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to play soccer in college,” she said. “I’m planning on going to medical school, so sports on top of that is a lot. The good thing about Division III sports is, they really help you balance school and athletics. You’re not allowed to practice during study times, and there are only games on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You’re committed, but you still have a chance to succeed in both areas.”
When the moment finally came to put pen to paper and sign to become a Pacer, she did it alongside longtime family friend Jason Bates, a senior at West who also committed to William Peace. Both were pleased with the intimate nature of the campus nestled in a corner of a bustling metropolis.
“I went up to visit, and I knew it was my college,” Greene said. “Raleigh is my town. I love it there. It’s a small campus, but it’s still in the city, and it’s not too far from home. I had opportunities to go out of state, but I didn’t want to be too far from home.”
Greene was a three-year starter for the West varsity squad, helping the Patriots bag a 3A Coastal Conference championship as a sophomore. The Patriots have put up a combined 37-19-4 record over the last three seasons.
“Raine has always been a really gifted athlete,” West soccer coach Matthew Graham said. “She’s extremely quick, she’s tireless and has a tremendous amount of ball skill technique. I think that’s going translate really well at the next level. I think she’ll be one of the few freshmen who can actually run at the collegiate level almost immediately. Her fitness is top-flight.”
This spring, West finished 9-8-1 overall and went 6-4 in the Coastal to finish third. Greene had six goals as a senior outside midfielder. As a junior, she had eight goals and four assists, and as a sophomore, put up two goals and two assists. Greene is a two-time all-conference selection and was named to this season’s N.C. Soccer Coaches Association (NCSCA) All-Region 3 Team.
“Over the last two years, Raine has gotten better at seeing the whole field and seeing plays develop and delivering the ball to her teammates on target and with speed,” Graham said. “She has one of the best crosses we’ve seen for a while in this program. What will be interesting to see is when she gets to the next level and every player on the field will be able to run with her and look for her pass and be able to do something with it. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.”
Greene will join a Pacers team that went 2-10-1 last year and got outscored 27-15.