By Scott Eddy
Director of Athletics Communications
Finding success at the highest levels of soccer isn't something new for Marley Jarvis.
After all, the senior has been a starter since nearly Day 1 after joining the St. Bonaventure women's soccer team, starting 43 of her 50 career matches while logging over 1,100 minutes as a junior.
The experience she had this summer, though, represented something special.
In particular, a goal she will never forget.
During the summer months, she represented the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda playing in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Women's Championship qualification.
In Antigua's second match vs. Curacao this past May at home in St. John's, it was Jarvis who opened the scoring early in the second half by finding the back of the net in the 49th minute. It ended up being the game-winning goal in a match that would end with a 3-0 tally.
An impressive performance for anyone, especially since she was playing defense and said scoring a goal herself was the last thing on her mind.
"I wasn't expecting anything like that," she said of scoring for the national team. "My aunts and uncles were there and were very happy to see it and that was the most special thing about it – having them be there for it and to see how excited they were."
For Jarvis, playing against some of the top competition in this part of the world was just a portion of what made the summer so special. Having her extended family be part of the experience stands at the forefront of her CONCACAF involvement.
"My father is from Antigua and most of my family still lives there," the native of Webster, N.Y. said. "They had never seen me play, so it was nice to play a tournament in front of them and have family who I haven't seen in years come watch me play."
Jarvis and her teammates did more than play – they did nothing but win. Antigua and Barbuda won Group D of CONCACAF Caribbean first round qualifying with a 3-0 record after wins over Curacao (3-0), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (1-0) and Saint Lucia (1-0).
It was her second experience playing with Antigua and Barbuda, as she first represented the nation as a 17-year-old. The first time around was enjoyable, but in her second opportunity to wear the Antiguan colors, Jarvis was able to appreciate the honor a bit more.
"You're playing for your country, so it's a little bit different than playing for your school," she said. "It holds a deeper meaning. Just to represent something that has been in my family and bigger than myself is hard to put into words. It's much more of a sentimental value."
The success in May has moved Antigua into the final round of CONCACAF Caribbean qualifiers this week in Jamaica. There, Antigua will play against fellow first-round group winners Bermuda, Cuba, Trinidad and the host nation of Jamaica from Aug. 25 – Sept. 2 as the teams bid for one of three places available in the CONCACAF Women's Championship. Eight teams will play in the CONCACAF Women's Championship in the United States in October. The ultimate goal for the teams playing in the tournament – a spot in the 2019 Women's World Cup in France. Antigua is vying for its first World Cup appearance.
Jarvis won't be in Jamaica for the next round of CONCACAF play, instead returning to St. Bonaventure for her studies and senior season with the Bonnies. She hopes Antigua continues to win and that she may have the opportunity to play with them again in future rounds.
"I'm still in the group chat with the rest of the team; I'm watching and wishing them all the best," she said.
For now, the training this summer has helped prepare her for what she hopes to be a strong senior season with the Brown and White. One of six seniors on the team, she's excited to welcome a group of newcomers that have brought an infusion of energy to the squad.
"There's 11 new girls and meeting all of the new people and getting to know everyone and where they're from has been a highlight," Jarvis said. "We have a lot of girls from all over the U.S. and outside the U.S. as well, so coming back and seeing my old teammates was great, but meeting new people and seeing the excitement they bring has been a great atmosphere."
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