Captain Perry Looks Back on Four Years

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Kendra Perry (Photo by widgic.com)

Written by Student Assistant Chelsea Flintoft '14

As the women's soccer season comes to an end and graduation is fast approaching, many seniors start to look back on their four years at Santa Clara University and see what the future may hold. For Kendra Perry, a senior and captain on the soccer team, she has mixed emotions about putting an end to her college career.

A local from Livermore, Calif.—just about 45 minutes outside of the Mission Campus—Perry has always had Santa Clara in her life. She went to soccer games in Buck Shaw Stadium as a child and attended soccer camps here during the summer. When it was time to choose a college, Santa Clara was first on her list.

Perry said, "I enjoyed the team and coaches when I visited. The small class sizes and the school's location was a major factor as well. Santa Clara also being so close to home was very beneficial for my family because they would be able to attend games."

Perry enjoys having her family so close and says that they have really helped her succeed throughout her collegiate soccer career.

"I would not even have this opportunity to be playing here if it weren't for my parents. I am so thankful and lucky that I get to share this experience with them being so close to home. I also have relatives that are local so they have been very supportive in coming to games. But I don't think it would have mattered where I played because my parents still traveled to every away game pretty much the four years I have been here. I could not thank them enough for the support and love they have given me throughout my life and years of playing soccer."

For the past 16 years, soccer has been Perry's life. She says that the experiences she has encountered in this sport has shaped her into the person she is today. Knowing that it is all coming to an end is a scary feeling for Perry.

As for graduation, the business management major said, "I have mixed emotions about graduating in March—a quarter early. I am very sad to see my collegiate soccer career come to an end but I am very excited to see where my education and experience from Santa Clara will take me."

When asked about her final season, Perry talked about how she is most proud that the season is not over yet. "I am proud that the team's hard work and effort has gotten us through the regular season and given us a chance to make a big impact and long run into the NCAA tournament."  

Before entering the 2010 season, Perry focused on reminding herself to live in the moment. "I will never get this opportunity to compete at the collegiate level again so every moment I have with my team, the girls, and at every game and practice I have to live in the moment and take none of this experience for granted."

Being captain of a nationally-ranked team is not an easy job and takes a special person to do it right. Perry comments on her important position saying, "I think finding different ways to motivate each and every player, including yourself, is an important leadership quality to have. Also as a standout figure on the field, leading by example is essential in inspiring the work ethic of the group. These are two of many leadership qualities that I believe are important to be successful."
Even though Perry takes her job and position on the team very seriously, she has also had some great memories with the Broncos. "Some of my favorite moments playing at Santa Clara have been our pre season trips. The best trip for me was my freshmen year when the team went to Lake Berryessa. Everything from the house boating, Maxine Goynes and I on the inner tube trying to compete with the boat driver, Jerry, and the team's campfire singing sessions are memories for a lifetime. This past years Arnold trip was pretty memorable as well." On the field, her most memorable moment was the time the Broncos beat Notre Dame 7-1 at home.
 
After four years of playing under head coach Jerry Smith, Perry has not only improved her soccer skills and techniques but also has learned valuable life lessons. Perry talks about her coach saying, "The one thing that stands out the most that Jerry has taught me is that no matter what the soccer situation or circumstance is, it can most likely teach you a life lesson. It is always nice to have that reminder from him that soccer is not only a sport but also something that teaches you life skills."

Even after the soccer season is over, Perry hopes to continue working in athletics and maybe even continue her involvement in coaching youth soccer. When asked if she had any advice for young girls who want to pursue a soccer career at the collegiate level, Perry said, "No matter what goes on in regards to your soccer career, you and only you control how hard you work. Continue to work hard, have fun, and enjoy every moment of playing the game because it goes by fast!"  

As the Broncos look to continue their 2010 season with a win on Friday against Long Beach State, Perry will be out on the field leading the team and playing her heart out in hope to make her final season last that much longer.

Congratulations and GO BRONCOS!