Senior defender Amelia Clower has entered her fourth and final year here at Niner Nation and she has had the opportunity to make an impact not just on, but off the field as well. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Amelia began playing soccer at the age of three. When asked where exactly the passion for the game came from, this is what she had to say.
“For a while I played on a boys team until I was like thirteen, so that was like where I really started to like soccer. And that’s where I chose soccer over all the other sports I was doing. I decided that was the one I really liked the most, and so I stuck with it,” Clower said. “And I just came around and wasn’t really ready to let it go yet and I chose to take it to the next level.”
Amelia stepped onto the pitch in 2015, seeing playing time in eight games her freshman year, and seeing playing time three Conference USA home games against UAB, FIU and Western Kentucky.
“I didn’t really have any expectations going into it. I just knew it was going to be tough, but I didn’t know it was going to be this tough,” said Clower. “I give credit to all athletes, no matter of the division. You have to show so much mental toughness and so much emotional toughness. It’s so much aside from just the sport. You have to balance so many things.”
Being a veteran player for the 49ers this season, Amelia’s energy and actions have set the pace in a number of ways.
“I feel like when I was a freshman, it was a lot of looking up to the people that were older than me, more than they probably realized, and I kind of keep remembering that in how I just react to things. Being that person off the field that can just be talked to,” said Clower. “The first three years, I was never a starter and I had to constantly work for playing time. I feel like as someone who wasn’t a starter from freshman year, the majority of the team has someone to look up to in me, and know that I pushed through it and so can they.”
Coming off a hard loss in the postseason, the Forty-Niners took the offseason to regroup. From a veteran’s perspective, getting that far in the season and performing so well can be a different experience for upperclassmen than it can for those newer players.
“Well I feel like a lot of the freshman and sophomores, specifically the sophomores, don’t realize how exciting it can be until you actually are in the playoffs and make it through that week. I feel like once they get a little taste of that, especially being in conference, it is hard to explain how important it is to the juniors and seniors,” Clower said.
The senior defender grew up in a household where relief and mission trips to Honduras, and many other countries where the norm. This past summer, she took a trip with a non-profit org called, “Filter of Hope.”
“My view of things, my perception has kind of changed with things. I don’t know, my perspective of life I guess,” she laughed. “My view of it from the past trip has changed because I was way more involved than I had ever been in the past. You never know what kind of person you’re dealing with or what they have been going through.”
Clower would spend her summer going home to home, up and down a mountain distributing water filters to help create safe drinking water for the locals.
Clower and the 49ers can be seen on Transamerica Field this Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. to take on Western Kentucky.