Will Bolton idolized Frank Lampard.
He wanted to do everything like the former Chelsea star midfielder and now head coach. Bolton styled his play after Lampard and slotted into the same positions.
“I have idolized Frank Lampard and think I play the same way Lampard did,” Bolton said.
That includes leadership.
Bolton, a senior accounting major, serves as Miami University’s club soccer team president. He’s been with the team since his first year of college, originally joining to make friends with his teammates and continue playing the game he loves.
Bolton played soccer in high school, so it was no question he was going to try out for the team. When he joined the club three years ago, he was honored to have been selected, as around 70 students try out every year, and not many are chosen.
While Bolton was simply happy to be a part of the team, he always wanted to go the extra mile and eventually lead. In his senior year, he became the president of the club.
Combined with the help of vice president Josh Campbell and co-treasurers Sam Miller and Daniel Smullen, Bolton recruited 11 new members last fall, including nine first-year students.
“Will Bolton is a good guy and a really good leader for us,” said Sean Patrick Dosedel, a first year on the team. “He has really gelled the team together. He is very organized.”
But Bolton’s new leadership role came with possible consequences.
Before the season, his coach advised him not to be surprised if he turned out to be the worst player on the team, as the president always gets caught up with organizing games and the three team practices per week — a stark contrast from high school, where everything is organized by the coaches.
However, Bolton feels he had a good season both as a player and president, and was happy with the way his career came to an end.
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But he still can’t believe his time with the club is over.
“I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much for sure, as I am not into anything else [besides soccer],” Bolton said when asked what his Miami life would’ve been like without the team.
His personal favorite game was a match he played against the University of Cincinnati in his sophomore year. It was a big game for the team, as UC was a massive rival and a tough opponent. He gave Miami the lead in the first half by scoring a 35-yard volley goal followed by an extension goal in the second half.
Last season, Bolton’s final, was tough yet successful. The team competed in 10 games before Oct. 19, resulting in it finishing second in the Midwest Alliance Soccer Conference. The players qualified for the regional playoffs, where they played two matches against the University of Illinois and Purdue University, respectively.
The first game ended in a 1-1 draw with the president scoring their only goal. This game was followed by a scoreless tie that ended Miami’s campaign. A win was required to get through to Nationals.
When it ended, Bolton wrote an appreciation post and added a few of his favorite soccer pictures to Facebook the night after the loss. He shared his gratitude, thanking his teammates, including some, like Massillon Myers, whom he played with for four years.
“[Four] years of Miami Club Soccer came to a close last night,” Bolton wrote in a Facebook post.“Forever grateful to have been able to play with such talented players each year and have my boy, Massillon Myers, alongside me for every season.”
As he bids farewell, Bolton has one final message for the future of Miami University club soccer.
“Try to form a relationship with the guys on the team early, so you can maintain it in the years to come,” he said.
That’s what he did, and his time at Miami would not have been the same otherwise.