Adrian College’s record-setting soccer player Caroline Fleming recently signed with the Detroit City Football Club’s (DCFC) inaugural woman’s team. The professional soccer team is scheduled to host its first-ever match at Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck, Mich. against Midwest United on May 9. DCFC plays in the National Premier Soccer League and is a member of the United Women’s Soccer Midwest Conference.
“Caroline came into training camp and impressed immediately,” DCFC women’s head coach Sam Piraine said in a club press release on Monday, March 23. “She showed great pace going forward and was very dangerous in front of goal. She is an excellent addition to our group who will immediately compete for quality minutes.”
Former Adrian College forward Erin Weide (2015) signed with the DCFC women’s team last week. Weide was a First-Team All-MIAA forward and conference MVP at Adrian College and a multiple-time All-Region honoree. She finished second in Bulldog history with 118 points, and 49 goals. Weide was an All-State selection and recognized as the No. 2 overall player in Division 4 for the state of Michigan out of Bishop Foley High School.
When meeting Fleming one might find her demeanor as being soft and caring. However, when inquiring to others about how she carried herself on the playing field for the Adrian College Bulldogs, she was described as being quite a “beast.”
Fleming amassed a record-setting soccer career at Adrian College that is more impressive than any program player before her, logging several school records and a handful of first-ever accomplishments in 2019. She is the total package. Fleming held a grade point average of 3.98.
Out of all of her accomplishments, she is most proud of being the first-ever Adrian College soccer player (men’s or women’s program) named to the United Soccer Coaches (USC) NCAA Division III Scholar All-American First Team.
“The academic honors I’m very proud of, especially Division III. We are here for academics first,” she said.
Fleming is also the first student-athlete in Adrian College history to repeat Academic All-American honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). She was a third team selection last year and was named to the CoSIDA Division III First Team this season.
Fleming is a unique, rare individual, indeed, both on and off the playing field. The Grosse Ile, Mich. native was born a quadruplet, with two brothers, Alexander and Christopher, and a sister, Aubrey. Their father and mother, Bill and Laura Fleming, and older brother and sister, John and Emma, were a bit taken back when the quadruplets arrived.
“My mom’s a saint. She deserves a lot,” Caroline said.
Having five siblings, Caroline said she had to be tough, adding soccer was a perfect outlet for her aggressions.
“I’m one of six kids. We all played sports growing up, and I have an older sister who would just beat me up from a young age. So, I had to learn to fight with her. She’s four years older than me, and was always a little bit bigger,” Caroline said.
Her brother Christopher is attending Adrian College and is a member of the men’s soccer team.
One of the highlights of Caroline’s collegiate soccer career was attending the FIFA Woman’s World Cup in France last year with her teammates.
“That was the coolest thing I have ever done in my whole life,” Caroline said. “It was amazing. I was actually front row for the finals.”
The summer trip inspired Caroline and she had one of her best-ever seasons. She led the Bulldogs to their second NCAA soccer tournament appearance in the program’s history. Last year, the Bulldogs were shut out and eliminated in the opening round. This year, Adrian College advanced to round two with Caroline scoring Adrian College’s first-ever, and only NCAA tournament goal to defeat the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point 1-0 in overtime.
The left-winger was named to the USC NCAA DIII All-American Second Team, became a three-time USC All-Central Region selection (2018 Second Team, 2019 First Team), was the MIAA Most Valuable Player, became a three-time All-Conference First Team member, and a two-time USC Scholar in the All-North/Central Region.
Caroline finished her soccer career as Adrian College’s No. 1 all-time player for assists with 34. She also set the program record for assists in a season with 14.
Her 46 points in 2019 ranks second in program history. She ranks third overall in points with 112, fourth in goals with 39 and fourth in game-winning goals with 11. As a senior, she scored 16 goals and set the school record for game-winning goals in a season with five.
Caroline said choosing Adrian College for higher education was the right decision and she’d do it all over again. She opted to attend Adrian College, in part, because she would be allowed to study athletic training and play soccer.
“A lot of schools don’t let you do it, so that made my list shorter,” she said.
Ultimately, her college selection came down to cost and overall value.
“I just started crunching numbers, and I get an extra year of schooling here. So, that’s how I decided to come to Adrian,” Caroline said. “I couldn’t have been happier with my decision!”
Fleming will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science in the spring and remain at Adrian College for the next year to earn a Master of Science degree in Athletic Training.
“I’m going into athletic training, and would like to work with soccer athletes and stay around the sport that way,” Caroline said. “I can also see myself coaching at some point.”
For more information on the DCFC and its season schedule, go online to detcityfc.com/.