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Soccer: Senior Stories by Kerri Luyties

Senior Soccer Stories
Soccer  10/23/2007   Courtesy RaginCajuns.com

Hey there everyone, it’s Kerri Luyties with your senior soccer story update this week! 


After a weekend in Florida which can be titled somewhat of a “learning experience,” the team’s excitement was in high gears for our last home weekend and Senior Day!  


We started off the week on Tuesday night when a group of eight players went around campus promoting our home matches by posting flyers, posters and writing on the pathways in chalk.  Since we have a hard time drawing in fans and many of the school’s organizations don’t help the cause, we decided to take matters into our own hands and I think it worked. 


On Friday night, we had a big cheering section, probably the most for any night match at our complex, to watch our match against Middle Tennessee, who is always good competition.  Unfortunately, even though the fans were there in full force our team was not in the first half and we went into halftime down 1-0 to the Blue Raiders.   Luckily, after a long speech from Coach Scot and words by numerous players, we went into the second half with a new spark.  Middle was able to get a couple early goals in the beginning of the second, but we did not let that get to us and we responded with a beautiful goal by Callie, bringing her to five this year!  Unfortunately, through all the hard work we could not bury any more shots, even though we took A LOT and we lost 3-1.  After an interesting bit of information that Stephanie Lynch brought to our attention at the end of the match, we decided not to let the loss bring us down and became pumped to play our match on Sunday against the Sun Belt’s best team, Western Kentucky.


On Saturday, we met as a team to jog and stretch and begin to focus for the upcoming game.  Then, the senior class, our parents, and our coaches all met for a lunch at Boulevard Grille to celebrate our accomplishments and remember hilarious stories of the past three years.  We also received some amazing gifts from a few of the parents and I want to say THANKS SO MUCH to the Bergeron’s, Malen’s, and my parents the Luyties’ for such thoughtful gifts and to all the senior parent’s for their support and love throughout the past four years, we are all so lucky to have you in our lives!  Overall, it was a great time and just what we needed to fuel the fire and get down to business in Sunday’s match.


Sunday came very quickly and the excitement in the air about the match and senior day was practically contagious.  When we arrived at the locker room the team had bought balloons and presents for all of the seniors.  Coach Jen and Coach Scot gave two moving speeches which helped spark the adrenaline for the match, which would be underway in less than an hour.  As we walked onto the field in our two lines to warm-up, we were surprised to see HUGE signs hanging on the stands in dedication to our seven graduating seniors.  The team did so much to make this day special for us and they completely succeeded, it was the way any senior would want their last home match to be – thank you so much! 


We ended warm-ups and began senior presentations.  All the girls were escorted onto the center of the field by parents or loved ones, and were presented in front of the biggest crowd ever at a Ragin’ Cajuns soccer match in the four years that I have been a part of this program.  When that ended it was time to play the match and that is exactly what our team did.  We started the first half with six of the seven seniors (minus Erin because of her injury; I love you!!) and we were able to set the tone of the game.  We played hard and after a goal from a counter attack by Western Kentucky we came back blazing less than four minutes later with a beautiful goal by Kelli Jestes.  Even though we outshot the Hilltoppers 19-14 we were unable to get another goal and ended the game in double overtime with a 1-1 tie.  Of course a win would have been nice, but the team could not be happier with breaking WKU’s 10-match winning streak. 


Our team dominated for the entire 110-minute match, and in my opinion the team played one of the best matches we have all season long and as a senior captain I am so proud of the effort that our seniors and younger classmen put forth.  Now, we begin to look forward to this coming weekend where we will match up against South Alabama and Troy.


So this is the part in all the stories where the writer gives shout outs to players.  So here it goes.  I’d like to shout out to my fellow defenders: Bridgette, Gayla, Erika, Jenn, and Lyndsey.  I know we rarely get recognized in the articles about the matches, but we are an amazingly strong unit who have contributed so much to the success of this team and I would not want to be playing beside any other girls for my last year on this team.  You all are awesome players and I am so proud of the effort you put out every week.  I love you guys!


Also, to my fellow seniors, we have been through so much!  From switching coaches, a tough first pre-season with Coach Scot (where we ran 17 X’s for fitness, how did we ever survive!!), battling to make sixth place in the conference, to the point this year where all our hard work, talent, sweat and tears have seemed to paid off and we have a chance to finally make our dreams a reality.  There are no words to describe how much each and every one of you means to me and how lucky I am to have had a chance to play with such brilliant players who I look at as sisters I never had more than just friends.  You all have a special place in my heart and I will never forget the great times we have shared.  I love you guys!!


Well that’s it for me; keep an eye out because the CAJUN ISSUE HAS BEEN WARNED! Haha


~Kerri Luyties