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Saluting our moms: Montville graduate Rachel Marchini and mom Jill Marchini

Rachel Marchini says her mom, Jill, has been “my rock my entire life.”

That description just scratches the surface when it comes to describing their relationship. Jill has been Rachel’s soccer chauffeur, confidant, best friend and, of course, mom.

Hours spent riding in a car to soccer games and practices helped strengthen the mother-daughter bond.

“I was always busy with soccer,” said Rachel, who starred at Montville and now plays at UConn. “Every day I was spending hours in the car with my mom going to and from practice, tournaments and games. We got so close because I spent so much time with her.”

Jill, a high school swimmer, understood why Rachel would want to compete at a higher level. She supported and encouraged her daughter every step along the way.

Sometimes Rachel wondered how her mom pulled it off while working a job and also taking care of her twin brother and sister.

Rachel’s schedule got even crazier when she decided to also play lacrosse her freshman and sophomore years at Montville.

“I still have no idea how this woman did it,” Rachel said. “She works in a group home and she would work the third shift. I just remember my mom was always there when I left for school in the morning and always there when I got home, and I don’t know how because she would work at night and she would obviously do stuff doing the day like go grocery shopping and do other stuff. She did everything.

“Now that I’m older, I have no idea how she did it because I’m exhausted after two hours.”

If not for Jill, Rachel might not still be playing at UConn. Jill helped Rachel weather a stormy and stressful first year during which she lost some of her love for the sport.

“My mom was always there for me,” Rachel said. “My freshman year in college was hard. I wouldn’t play a single minute and my mom came to every single game and supported me even though I wasn’t going to play, regardless, home and away. She is just that kind of person.”

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