Kate Kerr can’t imagine life without soccer.
Starring for the Princeton High girls’ team and the Match Fit Chelsea club program, Kerr had long range plans in the game.
“I think playing college soccer has always been in the back of my mind from the beginning of high school,” said Kerr, who helped PHS win the 2012 Central Jersey Group III sectional title in her senior season.
“Soccer has been such a huge part of my life, I have never thought about stopping playing.”
After looking at several Division III programs, midfielder Kerr found a home at Franklin & Marshall College and its women’s soccer team.
Upon starting preseason practice in 2013 for her freshman season at F&M, Kerr did have some jitters in making the jump to the next level.
“I was a bit nervous; the biggest thing was being mentally prepared and not psyching yourself out,” said Kerr.
“It is important to relax and tell yourself that you have been playing this game for a long time.”
It was hard for Kerr to relax when she got her first college start in the Diplomats’ game against Elizabethtown College on September 10.
“It was really exciting to see my name on the whiteboard,” recalled Kerr, who made 16 appearances and four starts in her debut campaign. “It meant my hard work had paid off.”
Less than two weeks later, Kerr got her first college point, picking up an assist in a 3-3 tie at Ursinus.
“It was a downpour, the ball was moving fast,” said Kerr. “I was out wide and I got the ball at half field. I took on a girl and beat her. I saw a teammate making a run and I crossed it to her in the box and she scored. It tied the game at 3-3 so it was a big goal.”
Over the course of the fall, Kerr made a lot of progress. “I think I just got more confident,” said Kerr. “At the beginning, I was nervous being a freshman. I got to know my place on the team. I tried new things in practice because I wasn’t worried about being judged.”
Off the field, F&M has proven to be a good place for Kerr. “It is tough, it is a lot of work,” said Kerr. “I did well, I had some tough courses. I am thinking about being a math major with a Spanish minor. I joined a sorority for fun. I have met some great girls.”
With the Diplomats getting ready for their season opener against Lebanon Valley on August 29, Kerr has a great feeling about this year’s squad.
“We just had our first fitness test,” said Kerr. “I think everyone is excited, we have a good group of freshmen coming in. We kicked the ball around after the test and everyone was working hard, there was high energy.”
As Franklin and Marshall looks to improve on the 5-9-3 record it posted in 2013, Kerr believes the team will have to work smarter around the goal.
“We had the best start in years; we only lost one of our first seven games (4-1-2) but towards the end we lost focus,” said Kerr. “We need to be better in the final third this year with our attacking and finishing. The defense is fine.”
For her part, Kerr is determined to be a more productive finisher this fall. “I want to be on the starting line and I want to start scoring goals,” said Kerr, who is hoping that her younger sister, Kirsty, will be scoring goals for PHS as she follows in the family tradition by playing on the Little Tiger varsity squad this year.
“I came close a few times last year. I want to get on the end of balls more, I think that would help the team.”