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The Champion Within: Gonzaga's Kelcey Goddard Emerges from the Pack

Oct. 16, 2008

Gonzaga's Kelcey Goddard is no stranger to the pitch, as both her father and older brother grew up playing the sport, so it's no surprise that she found herself on the Zags squad.

This week she took some time to talk to us about people who have influenced her, learning to be a leader, and the joys of playing for the Zags.

Q: Gonzaga women's soccer has really established itself as an up-and-coming program. What has it been like to be a part of the program's first NCAA Tournament team (2005) and helping to build a program?

KG: Being a part of the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament is definitely an accomplishment within itself. Especially coming in as a freshman and being part of taking the team and program to a whole new level is exciting and it feels good to be part of that.

Q: As both an All-WCC second team member and a WCC All-Academic honoree, how have you balanced your athletic commitment with your academic duties?

KG: Balancing both my athletic commitments and my academic duties is definitely a challenge but it was something I learned to deal with as a freshman. The two go together hand in hand, and without my commitment towards my duties in the classroom I wouldn't be accomplishing all I have on the field. We are student-athletes, so it's extremely important to put the academic part as my top priority, and then committing yourself to performing on the field is a whole different story. I have been able to put my game face on both on and off the field and direct my focus towards what's important.

Q: Now that you are a senior, how have you taken on a leadership role and what can you pass on to the younger players on the team?

KG: I have taken a leadership role on the team by really coming out of my shell and having more a voice on the team. Stepping up and being a leader is extremely important because you gain a different respect on and off the field. As far as advice to give for younger players on the team; every team can have more than one leader. Everyone should strive to be a leader and have a voice because it not only makes you a better person it makes the people around you better. Finding the leader within yourself is a tough role to take on as a young player, but the more comfortable you get, the more your leadership characteristics will come out and be noticed.

Q: When you were an underclassman, was there a player on the team that took you under their wing and what did you learn from them?

KG: There were two players that took me under their wing; Lauren Zuckerman and Sarah Hall. I learned from them that no matter what struggles you may go through and all the rough times you face, you have to dig deep and push through. Battling through makes you a stronger player and fighting for your own pride within yourself gets you through. Their efforts and their attitudes rubbed off on my as a player and helped me develop into the player I am today.

Q: What are three words that your teammates would use to describe you?

KG: Feisty, passionate, and trustworthy.


Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?

KG: The most influential person in my life would have to be my Dad, because he has influenced me to be strong. He has always told me to do what I wanted to do and not let anyone or anything change the way I think and feel. He has taught me to go with my gut feeling in any situation because life isn't always fair and there will be obstacles to face, but worrying too much will only make matters worse. He has been the person I look to for advice with anything, especially soccer, because I feel like he is the only one who gets it and knows exactly what to say. He has influenced me to be a strong independent person and to not let the little things in life let me down, but has told me to let them make me that much stronger. I love you Dad!

Q: As a Colorado native, what motivated you to go to school out of state and what drew you to Gonzaga?

KG: The main motivation of going to school out of state was to experience something new. Going somewhere different and meeting new people was something I wanted to do, and going out of state was going to lead me in that direction. I wanted to be put into an unfamiliar environment so I could learn how to adjust and get to that same comfort level I would have been at if I just went to school in Colorado. What really drew me to Gonzaga was knowing that it was an up and coming program and I wanted to be a part of that. It had sort of an under-dog mentality that I liked about it, and it just seemed right.

Q: Do you have any specific plans after graduation, career-wise or athletically?

KG: No specific plans as of now. I do admit that I am obsessed with Colorado, so I do plan on going back after graduation and seeing what kinds of things open up for me. If it's going straight into the real world, or going back to school, I don't know yet. It's hard even to think about right now. It's actually pretty scary to think about, because I don't feel like I should be graduating yet. It hasn't really hit me yet.

Q: As a Physical Education major, have you learned anything that has helped you during your athletic career?

KG: Being a physical education major, I have really learned about how to take care of my body and what I need in order to perform at my best. Being a physical education major has really intrigued me more about how to get myself to where I need to be and be able to attain that state as I grow. I have learned things that will benefit me more in the future and being an athlete I think that is extremely important because your body takes a beating throughout the years.

Q: The WCC has produced some of the best women's soccer players in the world. Who is the toughest/best player that you have faced?

KG: I think that the toughest player that I have faced would have to be Christine Sinclair. As everyone knows, she played for Portland and was by far the fiercest and most phenomenal player I have played against.

Q: How did you get involved with the sport of soccer and when did you know that you had the ability to play Division I soccer?

KG: I got involved with the sport of soccer at a very young age because I grew up in a soccer family. My dad and my brother played, so it was something I was raised into I guess. I knew I had the ability to play Division I soccer when I actually went on a recruiting trip to the University of Portland and watched them play versus the University of San Diego, and realized that I could compete at this level. I saw myself at that level and felt like I could rise to the next level and challenge myself.

Q: For someone that was looking to attend Gonzaga University, what would you tell them is the best part of being a Zag?

KG: The best part of being a Zag, is having no fear. Our team has always been the team to fight until the end and to never give up. Being a Zag is about having pride for not only your school and your team, but also for yourself. Wearing the jersey with Gonzaga across the front is that sense of pride in which you represent when you step on that field.