Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WAVERLY — It’s no secret how explosive Waverly’s offense can be. The Tigers have multiple scoring options that seem to find the back of the net at will.
But behind that impressive attack is a host of players who make it “go.”
Kylie Smith is certainly one of those names and, on a regular basis, she gets into the scoring action as well.
This season, Smith has amassed three goals, 17 shots, 15 assists and 21 assists. Those numbers have helped Waverly go 8-1 overall and 6-0 in the Southern Ohio Conference — a campaign in which they’re trying to defend their shared conference title.
Smith, a junior, still has plenty of soccer to play at the high school level. She’ll only get better while continuing to do so. But the rest of the way, she’ll have a collegiate plan in mind as well.
This past week, Smith committed to continue her academic and athletic careers at Brescia University.
“I have had numerous offers and after many conversations with my family. Brescia felt like home to me. [Brescia] oach [Shaun] Soderling is in his first season and brings a lot of experience, passion, and a winning mentality,” Smith said. “What also attracted me to Brescia was the location, coaching staff, and the innovative recruiting efforts of coach Soderling. Being a part of something from the ground level is a challenge I accept and one I look forward to.”
Brescia finished the 2019-20 season at 2-16 overall and 0-10 in the River States Conference.
While those numbers, obviously, need to improve, they also mean that Smith will have a chance to compete for a starting position as soon as she arrives on campus.
Her family and friends will have a chance to watch that without having to travel far. While Brescia is nestled in Owensboro, Ky., the Bearcats meet with schools closer to Smith’s hometown in conference play … Shawnee State, Rio Grande and Cincinnati Christian.
“My parents have been supportive since I was little,” Smith said. “They always told me that if I wanted to achieve something, you have to work hard. Athletics is very important in my family. We have spent countless hours traveling for club games and putting extra work in with my stepdad.”
And, her teammates and coaches will be there in support as well.
“Most of my teammates I’ve played with for seven years, through Waverly and also club seasons. Without them, I wouldn’t have the success that I’ve had. We are a family. They are my best friends and they all are great soccer players,” Smith said. “My coaches, Chris Murphy, Danielle Morgan, Zach Breth, Mark Williamson, and Phil Buchanon have been huge in my development as a soccer player and a person. They constantly challenge me and have taught me that soccer is just as much a mental game as it is physical.”
Smith’s career totals now stand at 13 goals, 38 assists and 33 steals. She’s also tallied 62 shots and 64 points. She’s hoping to continue adding to those numbers while helping the Tigers chase their goals, both this year and next.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to play the game I love. I’m also excited and feel very blessed to play with athletes at the collegiate level,” Smith said. “This has been a dream of mine since I was eight years old. The speed and skill level will take some time to adjust to, but I am willing to contribute in any way they need me to.”