GAINESVILLE, FLA.: Even a few days after scoring her first-ever NCAA Division 1 women’s soccer goal, Sydney Kennedy was still having trouble describing it.
The sophomore with the University of Florida Gators, based out of Gainesville, Fla., scored in a 2-1 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 11.
The Fletchers Lake product said it is a moment she will not soon forget.
“It felt awesome to score my first collegiate goal,” said Kennedy in an interview with The Laker News over Twitter. “I can’t even begin to describe the excitement that took over as I watched the ball hit the back of the net. It really is an indescribable feeling.
“One thing that made it even more special was having an amazing team and coaching staff to celebrate with. They seemed just as excited as I was.”
She said returning to the locker room after the game and seeing all the “congratulations” messages and other messages filled with love from friends and family back home meant the world to her.
“It felt like a long-time coming,” she said.
Kennedy said she would easily have traded the goal for a win for her team, which sits at 1-2-1 (won-loss-tie).
“Of course, I wish we could’ve come out of the game on top,” she said.
She said the Gators coaching staff really stress the importance of playing a simple game no matter the opposition.
“Playing one-touch and two-touch soccer is what we do best,” she said. “During the Texas A&M game we started a little slow and lost our style of play a little bit, but the lead up to the goal was exactly how we like to play.”
Kennedy described the goal.
“It started near our own goal after the ball popped off our crossbar, we progressed up the field playing one and two-touch soccer, simple passes,” she said. “My teammate Madi Alexander got a toe on the ball outside the 18-yard box to set me up for the goal.”
After the goal she ran and leapt into the arms of her teammates on the Gators sidelines.
With COVID19 restrictions in place, even getting to play is a miracle as many games across the U.S. have been cancelled or postponed as the outbreak spreads with no sign of being under control anytime soon.
“This season has definitely been strange,” said Kennedy. “With all of the unknowns it’s awfully hard to look too far ahead. Obviously, collegiate soccer games all over the nation have been cancelled, postponed, etc. due to Covid impacts.
“We are trying our best as a team to take everything one day at a time and be grateful for every chance that we get to touch the ball whether it’s during practice or a game.
“This is just another instance where adversity has brought our team even tighter.”