Spotlight: Ruby Barnard-Mayers

Ruby Barnard-Mayers ’16 has been a leader of the soccer team for the past four years. Photo by Jun Taek Lee

Ruby Barnard-Mayers ’16 has been a leader of the soccer team for the past four years.
Photo by Jun Taek Lee

From Soccerball Harris to the Midwest Conference Championships, Ruby Barnard-Mayers ’16, a captain of the women’s soccer team, approaches any task at hand with an optimistic attitude. The S&B’s Editor-in-Chief Yishi Liang sat down with Barnard-Mayers to discuss her time at Grinnell and the legacy she hopes to leave behind.

The S&B: What was it like to finish your season?

RB: I still don’t think I fully comprehended it. Just because being a soccer player has been a part of my life since kindergarten so I just haven’t fully comprehended the fact that I’m done forever. I’ve been injured a lot in the past. I’ve had two ACL injuries and a meniscus tear so my season actually ended in October when I tore my meniscus. … That’s when they told me that I couldn’t play anymore. And I knew that and it was sad but then ending out senior game, which was our last game on the 31st, was very surreal, it was very weird.

How do you see your senior year finishing?

It’s going to be busy the rest of the semester. It is nice being in a sport that ends in the fall because when classes start picking up, soccer’s over so you have a little more time. But I’m on route to finish both my majors and graduate on time, so that’s great. And I can’t see a hiccup in the near future. Knock on wood.

What would you say is your fondest memory of Grinnell?

The one that’s jumping to mind first, and I have a lot of favorite experiences … is our game against University of Wisconsin—Platteville, which was the Wednesday before our senior game. They aren’t in our conference so it wasn’t a conference game. And I wasn’t able to play, but we played some of the best soccer that I’ve seen us play. Our keeper, Katy Oldach [’16], saved a PK (penalty kick). There was just so much energy. We scored two goals and it was just an incredible experience being on the bench. I just felt so much love and passion and happiness. It just made me really appreciate the experiences that I’ve had on the soccer team. I think that was a really good culmination of everything.

What’s the thing you’ll miss the most about Grinnell?

I’m going to miss the people. Honestly, I’ve met a lot of really good people here. It’s weird because I don’t really think of myself as a senior so I’m always like, ‘Oh, next year, I’ll come back to Grinnell. What classes am I going to take?’ I think it’s going to be very hard to be away from the Grinnell community because we’ve had this experience together for four years and a very similar situation.

What is your favorite Grinnell event? Other than Soccerball.

Disco. Not just the Harris, though – the day of Disco. … That’s the men’s soccer team’s party. That whole day is exciting and everyone’s getting ready and the costumes are really fun. And that whole day me and my friends only listen to disco music.

What would you say, so far, you’ve been the most proud of?

Honestly, I’m very proud to say that I was a captain for the women’s soccer team. It was such an honor, and I never, never expected to be captain.

What do you hope is something that you’ll leave behind?

We have a really great table. The women’s soccer team has been working on this table. … It’s very heavy. And we’ve been nailing in bottle caps. It has a border now and it says GWS, which stands for Grinnell women’s soccer, and it’s all in red with black outline. We’re very close to finishing it. I think we need like, 10 more black bottle caps to nail in and then we’re done. We want to cover it with Plexiglas or something and leave that for future Grinnell women’s soccer players. … I’d say an intangible thing that I would like to think that I left behind is my positive outlook on life, and especially on the soccer team, just staying positive and being happy for your teammates and friends no matter what.