After a 14-7-2 season that saw the Santa Clara Women's soccer team lose a nail-biter to then Number 1 Stanford in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament, returning captain Kendra Perry is excited to get back on the field for her senior season. We caught up with Kendra to talk about her goals for next season, her role on the team, and her plans after graduation.
SCU: As the only returning captain, how will your role as a leader on the team change this year?
KP: Our off-season workouts are probably the most mentally and physically enduring time of the year for our team, so I feel as the returning captain one of my main roles is to try and keep our team motivated. Since I have had a year experience of working with coach Marshall, I know what the 5:45 A.M morning workouts consists of, so pushing the team and personally leading by example is extremely crucial. I am the voice of the team now that I am the only designated captain left so communicating to the girls and coaches and my actions on the field are more important during these times.
SCU: You guys had a pretty successful season this past year. What are your goals for yourself and for the team for this coming season?
KP: I think our main goal for next season is to go even further then we did this past season (NCAA tournament (Final Four) and WCC championship). We haven't really discussed next season's goals, but I know going further in the tournament and taking the WCC championship will probably be a few. Personally, I want this next season to be the best of all my seasons to date here at Santa Clara. Crazy to say, but this upcoming season will be my last so I can not have any regrets and I need to leave everything I have on the field each and every game because I will never get this opportunity again!!!
SCU: You play a kind of holding-mid in front of the defense. How would you characterize your role on the team?
KP: One of the responsibilities of a holding-mid is keeping the midfield organized as a group. For example, giving attacking-mids verbal communication and really being the voice of the midfield will make us organized, especially defensively. I look to switch the point of attack often and sit in and control the middle of the field. The holding-mid sniffs out any counter attacks and/or delays them to allow others to get back and help. In this role one needs to supply short support to the back line to allow the attack to gradually build up.
SCU: What have you been working on in the off-season to become a better player?
KP: Everything that we do with Coach Marshall, our strength and conditioning coach, is making me become a better player. We lift weights, work on agility-footwork, and condition a ton. All of these components are making/helping me improve my game.
SCU: You were named to the WCC All-Academic team this past year. How do you successfully balance academics with athletics?
KP: I have been playing soccer my whole life so I think by now balancing academics and athletics is a norm. One thing that has helped me throughout my academic career, even in high school, is I have never been a procrastinator so I get my work done early. Personally, I feel that it really comes down to just being a hard worker in and out of the classroom, which is a trait I have had my whole life.
SCU: What is your major and what do you plan on doing after graduation? Will you try to play professional soccer?
KP: I am majoring in Business Management, but unfortunately, I'm not sure what I am going to do with this after I graduate in the winter of 2011. I will probably be looking for jobs during the winter quarter and see where life takes me after that. As for soccer after college, I am primarily focused on having a lasting senior season before worrying about anything else soccer wise.