Nolff is Upstates Energizer Bunny
Story originally published in the Hometown News,
reprinted with permission
By Leon Russ
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010
Every sport has that one player that is able to constantly show up and perform.
Baseball had Cal Ripken.
Football has Brett Favre.
Basketball had AC Green.
Hockey had Doug Jarvis.
For the USC Upstate Women's Soccer team that player is Catherine Nolff.
Nicknamed the Energizer Bunny by her teammates, Nolff hit the Upstate pitch four years ago and it's been nearly impossible to drag her off of it.
In her four years at Upstate Nolff has appeared in 73 matches, starting 72. She has played in every match the team has played, save one.
This year she's gone beyond a consecutive games streak; she hasn't missed a second of play on the pitch.
Nolff may be trying to make up for lost time as she noted, "I came late to soccer, I didn't start playing until I was eight and didn't play club soccer until I was 13."
Could that explain why she never wants to leave the pitch?
Asked if she has a special training regimen that differs from her teammates that's responsible for her being able to play every minute she says no.
She trains with the team during the season and in the off-season she does her own workout.
To come back in the best shape possible after the off-season Nolff said she does "a lot of running. One day I'll do sprints and the next day distance to prepare myself for the constant running along with the stops and starts" of a soccer match.
Other than that there is no secret, or not one she would admit to, that allows her to never miss a second of a match.
It seems it's simply determination and desire that keeps Nolff forever on the pitch.
An example dates back to her freshman year when she came out of the game with what she thought was a bad wrist sprain during a game in Florida.
Nolff squirmed and fidgeted on the sideline longing to get in. The coach finally broke down and put her back in the game, telling her, "We need you in."
It was only after they returned to Upstate that it was found she bad broken her wrist.
That didn't deter her from heading back out for the Spartans. She didn't miss a game the rest of the season.
Nolff explained, "I hate to come off."
It's been that way throughout both her high school and college career.
The Spartans don't want her to come off as her role as a Centerback is similar to a quarterback's role in football.
She explains, "As a Centerback you see everything in front of you so you're in charge of telling everyone what to do."
Nolff sums up why she hasn't missed a second of play this year. "I just love the game. I can't imagine not playing."
No matter what she encounters, it seems she just keeps going.
Just like the Energizer Bunny.