Throwback Thursday

Sept. 9, 2010

Holly Gault (soccer 2003-06)

Gault starred at defender/forward for the Jayhawks during her four-year career at KU. During her junior year, she was one of only two active players named to the All-Big 12 Conference 10th Anniversary Team. The Spring Hill, Kan., native is now studying the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. She plans to graduate in 2013 with a degree in medicine.

What have you been doing since you graduated?

“I took about a year off from school and just worked. I went on some vacations to see my friends during that time, just kind of took a break. I also went to the combines for the women’s professional soccer league here in the states. It was tough because I enjoyed having the opportunity to try out, but if I made it, I would have had to move to California. I figured it wasn’t the path I wanted to go down at this point of my life.”

How did you perform at the combines?

“I did probably better than I thought I would do, being a year and half out of playing organized soccer at that level. I actually was at the combine when I got an e-mail for my interview with KU Med. I was like jeez, now I am really going to be pressed. I only have four weeks to prepare for this. I went ahead and took the interview, left the soccer opportunity behind and got accepted to med school.”

It’s been four years since you’ve last played soccer collegiately, what’s the hardest part of not competing?

“Basically the hardest adjustment was just figuring out what else to do with my time. I was used to having my whole day planned between going to study hall, practice and working out. More than anything though, I miss my teammates. That’s the number one thing I miss. I don’t care what job you do, you don’t get the same camaraderie you have if you are on a sports team. You see the best and worst of people and you have to get together and conquer everything as a team. You just don’t get that anywhere else.”

What was your best moment on the soccer field during your career at KU?

“As a team, winning the Big 12 Championship my sophomore year was definitely a highlight. Individually, I scored a game winning goal against Missouri on Senior Day one season in Lawrence. That was by far my best moment individually because I definitely do not like Mizzou!”

Your high school didn’t actually offer soccer as a varsity sport, so how did you end up playing at the Division I level?

“I lived in Olathe prior to moving to Spring Hill for high school, so I was already on a team from Johnson County. I stayed on the same team even after I made it to Spring Hill. When the high school girls in Olathe went and played soccer together at their school, I just went and played with the boys on a club team and then I had a few private trainers during the meantime. All in all, I got a lot of experience playing with the boys, girls and the Kansas state team.”

Are there any similarities of how you train for a match as compared to how you study for an exam?

“The biggest similarity would have to be time commitment. I spent my junior and senior year (of college) traveling with the national team and during the season we were gone a lot, so I learned how to manage my time and use it wisely. I’ve had people in medical school say ‘You don’t study as much as I do, but you still do better than I do.’ I say it’s not quantity, it’s quality. I see people studying twice as much as me and they’re still struggling. I know it’s a commitment because soccer was my number one commitment during college and I know this is my number one commitment now. It’s really all about setting goals and having determination to set aside the time to do the work.”

If you had to pick one as your dream job, what would it be… playing soccer professionally or a high profile job in the medical field?

“I’d probably have to go with being in medical field because I’m only 25 and my body is already nothing like it was a few years ago, so I don’t know if I could have played much longer. I really enjoy the interactions with people, just sitting down with a patient, figuring out a problem and then trying to do the best you can to help them out. My dream job would definitely to be a doctor in either pediatrics of the ER.”

Your nickname is ‘Hollywood’, is there any story behind that?

“My dad gave me that name when I played softball growing up. In high school I had a pair of sunglasses that matched every uniform I had. I probably had about 10 pairs of sunglasses in my bag at all times, so my dad just started calling me that and it stuck.”

How many World Cup matches did you watch this past summer?

“I probably saw about 10 of them. I didn’t get to watch as many as I wanted to. I watched all the United States’ matches though. For the game against Ghana, I was at a bar with some friends and med school buddies. Most of them left by halftime because we were down, but a few of us, including myself, stayed and we got to see the US come back and score two goals to tie it up.”

You played both sides of the ball. What would you get more satisfaction out of… a game-saving slide tackle or a game winning goal?

“I’d have to say game-saving slide tackle because I was a very offensive minded defender anyway. I always found my way to the ball somehow, but there’s just something about saving a goal because it messes with the other team so much. It gets in their head because they thought they had a lead or a tie and then you take it away from them, it’s just great!”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“Hopefully I will have paid off my student loans by then, but in all seriousness I want to stay around here in Kansas City. My goal is to get into residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital, so just in pediatrics somewhere locally but preferably at Mercy.”