Kristin Treichel has played soccer for years, so it’s no surprise she’s worked her way up to playing soccer competitively. Treichel plays soccer in Rochester, while also working at Mayo Clinic as a nurse in the cardiovascular and surgical intensive care unit (ICU).
Path to Rochester from Wisconsin
Treichel’s path led her to Rochester over the years from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she grew up, and Madison, Wisconsin, where she went to school. “It was a bit of a winding road,” Treichel considers. “I got a biology degree. I was a soccer coach. I worked in a bank. I taught English in Spain for a year. And I went back to school.” She went on to get her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
After moving to Rochester about one and a half years ago for a nursing job at Mayo Clinic, she joined the Rochester United F.C. soccer team. She is now playing in her second season with the team. Rochester United is part of the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL), which she says is considered a second-tier league in the U.S., and the next level is professional. “It’s considered semi-pro soccer,” says Treichel.
According to the Rochester United F.C. website, “The WPSL is in its 23rd season and is the largest women’s soccer league in the world with more than 130 clubs from coast-to-coast. WPSL rosters feature elite collegiate, post-collegiate, international and standout prep student-athletes. Many of the United States’ most accomplished women’s players have played in the WPSL.”
Soccer runs in her family. Treichel started playing in her hometown of Milwaukee, when she was 10. “My whole family is into soccer,” she says. Her parents tried to persuade her not to play soccer though, because people in her family are prone to knee injuries.
Once she started though, she kept playing whenever she could, from club and travel teams in the offseasons to varsity teams during all four years of high school to competitive leagues after college. After taking a break from soccer during her college years due to three knee injuries and surgeries to her left knee, she joined competitive leagues in Madison. “Madison is a huge soccer town. I played competitively for Madison United, a recreational competitive team, for about 10 years as well as in some coed competitive leagues,” she explains. She mentions she has enjoyed playing in the annual Presidents Cup tournament with Madison United too. The Presidents Cup website says it is one of the premier indoor soccer tournaments in the Midwest.
Now in her second year playing with Rochester United, Treichel keeps busy during the soccer season from mid-May through June. She also enjoys getting to know the players on her team, who include local, national and international players in high school, college and professional careers.
“I love showing people around. Lots of the players on the team are from out of town and don’t know anyone in town. They stay for about one and a half months,” says Treichel. She mentions many of the players have host families they stay with during the season.
Treichel maintains a full schedule. When she’s not on the field, she’s often working in her job as a nurse at Mayo Clinic. She balances 12-hour shifts that vary between mornings and nights with playing soccer, working out, seeing friends and other interests and activities.
“My friends say I’m the busiest person they know,” laughs Treichel. During soccer season, Treichel attends practice daily and plays in about two games a week. Games are either at the Rochester United F.C. home field at the Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) or in locations within a couple hours from Rochester.
To fit it all in, she remembers, last season, she brought her soccer stuff to work, changed after work, taped up her ankles and went right to practice. “Last summer was pretty intense,” she admits.
During the soccer season this year, Treichel has managed to adjust her workload to about 24 hours a week to be able to keep up with her soccer schedule, while trying to plan her work schedule to miss the least amount of Rochester United soccer games. “As a nurse, I have a lot of flexibility,” Treichel notes about her schedule. “I can pick up shifts for four or eight hours or ask to switch shifts.”
“I don’t have unlimited years to play—I’m 34, and I don’t want to miss the chance to play. I’m very lucky to get to do so,” she reflects.
Treichel also works out as part of her daily routine, often working out at the Rochester Athletic Club (RAC) early in the morning, where you might find her weight training, running on the treadmill or running on the track. As a member of Rochester United, she has a RAC membership during the soccer season. She also keeps up her workouts during the offseason at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center (DAHLC), Mayo Clinic’s employee gym.
In the offseason
“The rest of the year, I travel a lot,” she shares. Her best friend works at an airline and has brought her along on some trips with free airfare in the past. In the last couple years, Treichel has traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah; Houston, Texas; Hawaii; Ireland and Phoenix, Arizona. She often travels solo and enjoys hiking, as well as taking cooking classes when she travels. Later this year, she’s hoping to go to Japan and Australia.
Visiting her family in Wisconsin is one of Treichel’s favorite pastimes. “I have a really big family, and we’re really tight. I like to go to my nieces’ sports games. I’m energized being around people I care about. I always want to be there and show up for my nieces.”
Becoming a Rochesterite
“Rochester has grown on me,” admits Treichel. “I love Thai Pop; it’s my favorite restaurant. And I love the Workshop for a fun night out. The Forager patio is great after work.”
Winter, however, isn’t Treichel’s favorite season to be outside. “I hate to be cold and am kind of a wimp in the cold.” When it’s warmer, she enjoys walking on the bike paths, taking bike rides in town or going to Quarry Hill.
Treichel also loves to cook and bake in her free time. She likes to host get-togethers and have people over to her home. “We cook, hang out, have cocktail nights, have campfires and do wine tastings.” Treichel also mentions she gets people together for watch parties to watch the World Cup or other big soccer games.
Keeping stress away
While Treichel’s schedule is very busy, she manages it by being organized, managing stress and spending time with people she cares about.
“When I’m stressed, I’ll go for a walk or take a breath.” She considers that it helps to remember that if things are hard, it will always get better. “I think, in five years, is this going to matter?”
Even though Treichel has many things to balance in life, she tries to focus on what’s happening right now. “Don’t miss the moment. Enjoy the present. Don’t get so caught up in where you’re going. And don’t throw it all into one thing.”
“As long as I’m healthy and happy, that’s all that matters,” says Treichel.
The 2023 Rochester United F.C. season wrapped up in June. Stay tuned at rochesterunited.org for next year.