Blazevich picks up soccer again with RCC men’s team

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Riverland's Nina Blazevic fends off Anoka-Ramsey's Chad Anderson during the first half Wednesday afternoon at Wescott Athletic Complex. -- Eric Johnson/

It’s been awhile since Nina Blazevic played soccer, so you could understand her concerns when the Riverland Community College men’s soccer team asked her to play as the only woman on the squad.

But Blazevic, who graduated from Austin High School in 2009, shook off her initials fears as she suited up to play for the Blue Devils this fall.

“I was really scared and I contemplated it a lot before I sat down and talked to the team,” she said. “They said it would be a good opportunity to put myself out there and I went for it.”

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Since joining the Blue Devils, Blazevic has jumped right into the Blue Devils’ lineup and she’s playing her way back into game shape. She said the game is a lot different at the college men’s level than it was playing for the Packers girls team, where she was a defenseman.

“They’re pretty nice, but they don’t take it easy on me because I’m a girl,” Blazevic said. “It’s a little rougher and faster (than girls soccer), but it’s not too bad.”

RCC head coach Soner Dogan said the Blazevic has fit in just fine and she’s been a good influence on the team as she leads by example.

“She’s a fighter and she doesn’t give up. She does what we tell her to do on the field,” he said. “Nina fits our team perfect. She’s just like another player and we don’t see her or treat her any differently.”

While she’s getting accustomed to the men’s game, Blazevic would like to change one thing about her time with the Blue Devils so far — she’d like to win. RCC is off to an 0-5 overall start this season in the program’s second year of existence.

“It’s been enjoyable so far, but it would be a lot better if we won a few games,” said Blazevic, who plays midfielder for RCC. “Hopefully it gets better as we go on. It’s a learning experience for all of us.”

Blazevic was able to play on the men’s team because RCC doesn’t have a women’s squad.