By: Jessica Shusko '15
SANTA CLARA, Calif.- This weekend marks the last games of the regular season for the Bronco women's soccer team. This season the Broncos have had much success, and sophomore Katie Speidel has been there for every game to help her team win. As a midfielder, Speidel (KS) plays a crucial role in both offense and defense for the Broncos and has even found the back of the goal a few times his season.
SCB: So far this season you have seen playing time in every game, how much of an improvement is this for you from last season?
KS: My freshman season I played in all but two games, but this year I have played in every game. It has been good to develop my experience at the college level.
SCB: Is there anything in particular you have really tried to improve on since last season?
KS: There is always something to improve on, whether it is technically, physically, or mentally. This year, I have been focusing on making more of a defensive impact, even in the forward position. I am also improving my shooting and taking more offensive risks in the attacking third of the field.
SCB: With the season winding down, do you have any goals for yourself?
KS: Our coaching staff encourages us to set individual and team goals throughout the season. I know that the entire team is working hard to make the season last as long as we can for our four senior players. Personally, I am going to contribute to that goal by focusing on improving little details and working as hard as I can to help my team reach the final four this year.
SCB: What has been one of your most memorable moments from this season?
KS: My most memorable moment this season thus far was the first minute of the first overtime we played against Cal State Northridge. I just remember passing the ball into the midfield, who played the ball out wide to Julie [Johnston]. Julie crossed the ball from the left side and it went over the goalie's head and into the corner of the goal. I just remember looking up and seeing the ball in the net and seeing all of my teammates running towards us while I hugged her. It was a great feeling.
SCB: Six out of the teams nine games have gone into overtime, what is the feeling like playing in such high-pressure moments?
KS: I think it is really exciting to play in those moments because it makes each play matter that much more. You feel even more of a need to give everything you have for your team in those moments. It also prepares us for what the playoffs will be like; every minute of those types of games is high-pressure.
SCB: Has this season lived up to any expectations you had leading up to it?
KS: Absolutely. All of our hard work as a team is paying off with a number seven seed in the RPI rankings and we are learning and growing together as a team every game. I am having a blast playing for these girls and for Santa Clara as a whole.