By Austria Arnold |

As Baylor women’s soccer prepares for round one of the NCAA tournament, junior forward Raegan Padgett looks to the future. Padgett has made an appearance in every Baylor game since she joined the team. She serves on the team’s leadership group and juggles her time well as she majors in health science studies, planning to become a physical therapist.

Why did you pick to play for Baylor?

“I really thought I wanted to go to A&M because my family was from there. I narrowed it down to Baylor, TCU and A&M. I visited Baylor first and just really fell in love with it. I just loved the coaches, the school, the team. So, when I went on my other visits and nothing really measured up so, I ended up here.”

How do you stay grounded?

“I would really say my family and faith which kind of go hand in hand. I call my parents just about every day and they give me an outlet to get my worries and troubles out.”

What is your favorite part of being on this team?

“It really is a family environment. We are all really great friends which is hard to find in a group of 30 girls. Everyone on the team really cares about us, it’s not really about the wins and losses it is about playing together and working for each other.”

Photo by Austria Arnold

What has been the hardest part of being a student-athlete?

“Juggling school and playing because when we are in season we are gone sometimes more than we are here for a week. It really teaches you how to be responsible and get with teachers and be prepared in advance. I think it has actually really helped me with my future even though it has been a struggle sometimes.”

What has been the highlight of your soccer career thus far?

“I would definitely say winning the Big XII championship last year. We won the tournament and we went to the elite eight. That whole season was just an amazing season and it was the first time the school has been to the elite eight.”

How has the team evolved since you have been here?

“We have had a lot of changes. Our head coach stepped down and her husband took over. That was a big change. [It was] not a huge change in the soccer, but a new coach is a new coach. We had some assistant coaches come and go. We have grown up a lot. We developed a lot more as a technical, tactical team. My freshman year was a lot tougher and aggressive, kick the ball and run. Still, we stick to our roots and we are a tough team. We try to set the tone of the game and always fall back on that when things aren’t going our way.”

Photo by Austria Arnold

What do you see for the future of Baylor soccer?

“The future of Baylor soccer looks really, really bright. We won the Big XII [regular season] championship this year. I think we are going to be really great in the next few years because of the culture that has been created on the team. The girls who have left and that are coming in are really great people and really hard workers.”

What advice would you give your younger self?

“I would just say enjoy it more. Don’t stress so much. Everything goes by so fast. Leave the stress and worries behind. I wish I would have just enjoyed the small things more.”