Caitlin Blosser, a mainstay in the midfield during her time at Princeton, hasn't stopped playing soccer just because her collegiate career ended last fall.
Blosser, a history major and a second-generation Princetonian after father Rick Blosser '86, a football alumnus, since July has made her home about halfway between Sweden's northern and southern extremes, some 350 miles north of the capital Stockholm. Her team, Krokom/Dvarsatt, is named for two neighboring towns with a combined population of about 3,000.
Indeed, it's a world away from the business of her previous home on the Princeton campus and certainly of her native Los Angeles. But from the looks of the photos and videos of Blosser in Swedish publications (here and here), it's been an enjoyable few months of soccer.
Krokom/Dvarsatt heads into its next match Sunday with a record of 10-9-2 and 32 points, good for fifth in the 12-team Northern section of Division 1, the second tier of Swedish women's soccer. The top team from the section earns promotion to the first-tier league.
Though Blosser has only been playing with the team since July and the 22-game slate, which began in April, will wrap with Sunday's game, her 11 goals are good for 11th place in the league as of Oct. 1.
How did a young woman from Los Angeles by way of Princeton find her way to central Sweden?
"Going into senior year, I knew that I wanted to continue playing after college, so I was excited about the opportunity from the beginning," Blosser said. "I expressed my interest to a couple of former coaches, including former assistant coach Scott Champ, who recommended me to their contacts abroad. Ultimately it was Scott who helped me decide which team would be the best fit for me in my first experience."
Champ served as head coach Julie Shackford's lead assistant coach for six years before moving on to Arizona State. More Princeton connections, including alumna Emily Behncke '06 and longtime current assistant coach Ron Celestin, helped Blosser with the transition.
"Ronnie connected me with Emily Behncke, who also played in Sweden," Blosser said. "She told me about her experience and what a great opportunity it was for her, which reinforced my confidence in my decision to do this."
Though it's more than 5,500 miles by air between her family's home in California and her first professional playing experience, along with a nine-hour time difference between Sweden and Los Angeles, Blosser hasn't had to take a crash course in Swedish just yet.
"Initially I thought the language difference would be more of an obstacle," Blosser said. "But most people speak English well enough that communication hasn't been difficult."
On the pitch, Blosser can rely on her feet to do their share of the talking, no interpreter needed. While helping Princeton back to the NCAA tournament in 2012, where the Tigers got their first postseason win since Behncke helped lead the team in 2004, Blosser earned three All-Ivy League honors during her career.
But with the season almost complete, Blosser will have to figure out what's ahead.
"Right now, also Scott's help, I'm in the process of deciding where I'm going to play next," Blosser said. "I've loved my experience on this team, but I'm also excited about the prospect of playing in a different country or bigger city in Sweden."
Still just 22, Blosser has already played soccer coast-to-coast in the U.S., earning accolades and a Princeton degree along the way. Those credentials, plus her first taste of international soccer, should open some doors as she continues her playing career.