5,256 miles of separation

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Photos courtesy of UVU Athletics
Jessica Duffin will serve an LDS mission in Madrid, Spain

The all-time leader in shutouts for the UVU women’s soccer team will no longer wear gloves, cleats, shin guards and shorts every day.  Instead, she will be wearing a skirt for 18 months when she goes to Madrid, Spain to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Spain’s nickname is “La Furia Roja,” which means red fury.  You would be hard pressed to find a more fitting country for Jessica Duffin to serve in.   Fresh off of a historic season for the women’s soccer team that saw them qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time, Duffin says she’s always thought about going on a mission.

“I grew up thinking about serving a mission,” Duffin said.  “When the age for when you can serve changed in 2012, I almost went because it was something I had always wanted to do.  I was really in a debate with myself over what I should do. Should I stay and play soccer or go on a mission right away?”

Fans of the UVU women’s soccer team are grateful she stayed and became one of the best players the women’s soccer program has ever produced.  This past season, the team won the Western Athletic Conference tournament, which qualified them for a game in the opening round of the NCAA tournament against BYU.  The Wolverines lost the game 1-0, but it was an impressive run for a team that was picked to finish fourth in conference play.(null)

“It’s still kind of surreal for me.  It was such an incredible season,” Duffin said.  “There were some games here and there that didn’t turn out the way we wanted.  Instead of letting those games set us back, we were able to become better and move forward.  When you set goals, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.  We were able to succeed and accomplish the goals we had set as a team.  It was one for the books.”

Jessica recognizes that this past season and her time at UVU has helped her become ready to tackle the next facets of life.

“The way Coach [Brent] Anderson runs the program helps to prepare you for life after college,” Duffin said.  “My stake president was running through challenging scenarios that might arise while being on a mission and because I was a part of the program that my coach had developed, I was able to confidently tell him that I will be able to handle anything that comes my way.”

When Jessica enters the Missionary Training Center in Provo on March 14, she’ll be starting a new chapter in her life.  Because of her success and time spent training while working hard with the women’s soccer team at UVU, she will be ready to face it head on.