Senior class sets out to leave legacy of teamwork


Tim Cowie/Tim Cowie Photography

Senior midfield/forward Kebrina Keys fights to maintain possesion during Friday’s home game against UNCW. Appalachian State defeated UNCW 3-2. Photo courtesy of Tim Crowe | Appalachian State Athletics

Jess Lyons

This season, the women’s soccer team will be led by what head coach Sarah Strickland refers to as the most selfless and successful group of seniors that the team assembled.

Appalachian State boasts a total of nine seniors on the women’s soccer team this season, which is the largest class on the team. The seniors are also the only class thus far that has made it to the every conference championship, Southern Conference or Sun Belt Conference, since beginning their careers at App State.

Not only are the seniors trying to leave a legacy of success and hard work, but they are also determined to improve the women’s soccer program before leaving. The seniors have dedicated the past three years of their careers to building a better foundation for future athletes entering the program.

“For us it’s about leaving the legacy of being loved,” senior goalkeeper Meg Roberson said. “Yes we absolutely want to win games and we want to win the championship, but I think building the stepping stones to where the program can succeed even after we leave has been a huge thing for this class.”

During their time playing for the Mountaineers, the seniors have made strategic changes in how they play, both individually and with their teammates. Senior forward Sam Childress expressed that because the team is so close, it’s more about what the team can do and less about what the player can do.

“I always wanted to be the hero,” Childress said. “I always wanted to be the one that was scoring the goals and winning the game, but honestly I could tell you right now, I wish that anyone else on field could score. It’s not about me, it’s not about me finishing the game. It’s about finding the right person who’s going to close the game at the right time.”

In their last home game against Radford University, the seniors walked into the locker room to discover roses in all of their lockers, something which was coordinated by the rest of the team.
Senior midfielder Kebrina Keys mentioned this was just one of the many things that makes the team so close. Keys also explained that when she goes into a locker room with her team, she doesn’t feel like there are different classes, but rather one team of people around the same age ready to work for the same thing.
This group of seniors will be the last class that participated in App State’s transition from the SoCon to the Sun Belt.
Strickland expressed that their skill level and chemistry remain unmatched by any other single class she’s worked with thus far.

“Somebody asked the other day who I would pay to go watch play soccer on this team out of the senior class, and I said all of them,” Strickland said. “They’re all so creative and hardworking and each of them has a special gift which is so amazing when you put them all together, especially surrounded by the rest of the team.”

With such high standards and a deep love for their program, the senior class is prepared to make the most of their last season playing for the Mountaineers.


Story by: Jess Lyons, Senior Sports Reporter