Bailey Robinson will graduate from American International College in about a month, but the former Taconic athlete isn’t quite ready to give up soccer yet.
Robinson will be playing this summer for the New England Mutiny of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
"I get to play with four of my [college] teammates," said Robinson. "It’ll be cool and a new experience. I’m pretty excited for it."
Robinson’s college career ended in December, when AIC lost to Grand Valley State in the NCAA Division II women’s soccer national semifinals at Evans, Ga. It was American International’s first-ever Final Four trip.
Robinson ended her AIC career as a two-time Northeast-10 second-team pick. The defender started in all of her team’s games in her final three years. The Yellow Jackets compiled a 52-23-7 record during Robinson’s four years on the team.
The Mutiny have been playing in the Pioneer Valley since owner and general manager Joe Ferrara founded the team in 1999.
This year’s team will play 10 matches beginning on Saturday, May 17. The Mutiny will host the Maine Mariners at the Western Mass. team’s home at East Longmeadow High School. The team begins practicing under coach Ray Burnon on May 1.
The Mutiny plays in the WPSL’s New England Division, and is one of six teams in the division. There are 70 teams in the WPSL playing in divisions from coast-to-coast and border-to-border.
"We’ve had girls [from AIC] play for the team for years," said Robinson. "A lot of college players like to play because it keeps them in shape.
"Since I’m not coming back, I thought I’d play in the summer."
Ferrara said he has known AIC women’s coach Matt Johnson for several years, and he has seen Robinson play.
"Bailey was always on our radar, but we could not get her to commit to play for us in the summer," Ferrara said. "She has too much talent to give up the sport. I owe this signing to Matt."
Robinson is one of five current or former Yellow Jackets playing for the Mutiny and one of 18 native New England players on the roster. It is, as of now, one of the largest rosters the Mutiny has ever had.
"It’s a great roster with good depth," said Ferrara. "Last year, we made it to the Final Four. By the time we played, with attrition and injuries, we finished the season with 14 healthy bodies."
As to Robinson’s adjustment to the faster level of play in the league, the general manager can’t imagine it being a problem.
"I don’t expect it to be much of an issue for her," he said. ‘She’s had four years of college experience. She is one of the fastest players on our roster.
"For her, I think it’ll be an easier transition."
To reach Howard Herman:
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On Twitter: @howardherman.