Commentary by Claire Poindexter
The first time I met Rachael was in elementary school when we played recreational soccer together on the Purple People Eaters, and it wasn’t until our sophomore year of high school that we had the opportunity to play together again. She was always a fierce competitor; always one of the hardest workers; always someone you avoided going up against because you knew there was a good chance you wouldn’t win the ball. We played high school soccer together, but even more substantial was the time we had together off the field. I think what Rachael did outside of playing the game really showed how remarkable she was.
Creando Lazos is a camp that the women’s soccer team hosts every year. It has always been a highlight for everyone but it was even more so for Rachael. She always had three or four kids clinging to her neck. Her joy with the kids was contagious and every kid loved her. The compassion she showed those years of summer camp went beyond something that everyone saw, and she took off more time during the high school season to work with the ZYSA youth. There were a few of us that helped out with this endeavor but she was there every week. In the midst of high school soccer and hours of homework each night, she was out showing kids how great the game of soccer can be. She continued to work with these kids into the winter and spring seasons and was there at soccer tryouts this past summer, out in the heat teaching the game she loved instead of being out with friends.
Rachael wanted to be a nurse. A nurse is the epitome of her character. She loved being around kids and helping them in every way possible. Her smile was the biggest around and she truly exhibited that she loved and loved to live. Rachael was one of those goofballs that everyone wanted to be around. She was quirky, fun and always friendly. Whenever I would see her in the hallway she would say hello and ask how I was doing. She had a huge heart, a heart overfull with love for others. I know that Rachael would have made a great nurse just like her mom. I am proud to have known someone with so much joy and I was blessed to be able to be her teammate.