In Their Own Words: Emily Strinden

Nov. 2, 2007

Throughout the course of the 2007 season members of the <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas soccer team will share their thoughts in the first person. Today, senior forward Emily Strinden reflects back on her four years in the Crimson and Blue and talks about how just getting to KU was a journey.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On the team’s surge at the end of the season:

“I think right now we have a lot more confidence than we did at the beginning of the year. We had a problem at the beginning of the year with finding the back of the net, scoring goals. People are finally starting to realize that it’s a lot easier than we made it.”

On what she brings to the team:

“I think some of the girls look up to me, because I’m a senior. I’ve got the experience of being here for four years. I think I bring a lot of energy to the team (when I come in the game) and I work pretty hard, and other people see that and they try to work harder. I also try to do a lot of outside stuff besides soccer and I try to include the rest of the girls. I think I do a good job of including everybody.”

On her involvement with community service projects:

“All of the community service work I do is through SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and with the help of Mike Harrity. That’s been the outlet to help me do all of that. It’s rewarding. It’s nice when you can help somebody else out.”

On growing up with three brothers:

“I was such a tomboy growing up. I’m actually the most athletic person in my family. My brothers all played sports for fun, but I’m the only one who really played seriously. I got all of the athletic genes in my family. You can ask them.”

“When I was younger, I was the only girl to play in a boys’ baseball league. I did that until I was about 12. I was always the first girl picked when we played football at recess. I really didn’t start playing girls’ sports until I joined gymnastics when I was 12. I did soccer and gymnastics together until I was 15, when I got hurt in gymnastics. After I got hurt my dad wanted me to stop.”

On what brought her to KU:

“I was actually looking at schools in the Big 12, but didn’t want to go to (Texas) or Texas A&M, because neither of them were really looking at me, so I didn’t think I’d get to play. I actually took (unofficial) visits to Oklahoma and OklahomaState, but they weren’t really what I was looking for either. I liked the coaching staff at OSU, but it’s more of an agricultural school and that’s not really what I wanted to go into.”

“One day my mom (who also went to KU) just threw out, `why don’t you go to KU?’. And it was just kind of like, `yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense’. So I wrote the coaches (at KU) and (former assistant coach) Donna Holyman came out to see me play at a tournament my senior year. I’ve always thought it was kind of fate that brought me here, because (Donna) was actually looking at a couple of other girls at the tournament. And there were only three people (Kelsey Archuleta, Colleen Quinn and Afton Sauer) in their recruiting class at the time. So any other year, like this year (when there were 10 in-coming freshmen), I probably would have looked some place else. It all seemed to work out.”

On her collegiate career coming to an end:

“(Playing soccer at KU) has been a lot of fun, and I don’t want it to end. It’s going to be hard on Friday; I’m probably going to cry. This is so weird, but I remember when we got knocked out (of the NCAA Tournament) by Nebraska (in 2004), and all of the seniors putting their hands above their heads and were just stunned that it was all over. And I remember thinking `I’m so glad that I have three more years left’. I can remember that so clearly; it seems like that just happened like two days ago. It doesn’t seem like it was three years ago. There are so many memories piled on top of memories that it all kind of runs together.”

On studying abroad in Spain second semester:

“I’m hoping that I can speak Spanish more fluently after I get done there. I want to knock out a couple of classes, and I think it’ll be easier because I’ll be so immersed in Spanish when I’m taking them. I’m going to be sad to leave all of my teammates and friends at KU, but I’ve always wanted to study abroad. The problem was just finding where to fit it in. This was kind of the only time that it worked out.”

On her senior class:
“My class is really close. They’re my best friends here. Everybody in my class really adds something to the group. We all have such different personalities. I think that’s what makes us such good friends. We all appreciate each other’s differences. It’s been interesting living with Colleen (Quinn) and Afton (Sauer), because there’s a lot of miscommunication and sometimes it starts things, but after we figure it out we’re all cool. There’s been more than one time where information has gotten misconstrued and it seems like a big deal. But I think that’s normal with most girls.”